Teddy, not stupid at all

Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma sign a werewolf film both faithful to the genre and at the same time very personal. To interpret it, they choose Anthony Bajon.

Since the Lumière brothers, the line of brother filmmakers continues to grow. After the Taviani, the Coen, the Safdie or the Dardenne, to name a few, we now have to reckon with the Boukherma. Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma, 29-year-old twin brothers, confirm with Teddy the talent seen from their first feature film, Willy 1st, made with two friends. This time, they only work as a family and sign a werewolf film that is both true to the genre and at the same time very personal. “We wanted to take the werewolf to the France in which we grew up”, say the brothers with one voice.

In Teddy, selected in the Cannes 2020 selection and in competition at the Gérardmer Fantastic Festival, we find nights of full moon and lycanthropy, but located in the Pyrénées-Orientales, with the accent of the South-West and non-professional actors who are somewhat reminiscent of Bruno Dumont’s cinema.

Confirmed actors, too, starting with the excellent Anthony Bajon, silver bear for best actor in Berlin in 2018 for Prayer, which French cinema can no longer do without – we will soon see it in the films of Stéphane Brizé, Sandrine Kiberlain, and Kool Shen, the rapper, in The World of Tomorrow, NTM the legend, series for Arte and Netflix on the formation of NTM and the arrival of hip-hop in France in the 1980s. With his cheeks still a little round, he gives Teddy a candor that resists almost anything. A 19-year-old young man with no diploma or future, he doesn’t have much for himself, except a girlfriend, Rebecca.

Animal drives

As soon as the bac in his pocket, she and her bourgeois friends will let him vegetate as a factotum in a massage parlor run by Noémie Lvovsky. Teddy looks like the hero of Their children after them, the Prix Goncourt of Nicolas Mathieu. But this last summer will not be like the others. The young man is scratched by an unknown beast. Hair grows on his tongue, the first symptoms of a metamorphosis accompanied by animal impulses.

For lack of resources and above all thanks to a fine intelligence, the Boukherma have learned the lesson of fantastic cinema. The less we show, the more we scare. Their introduction of the mythological beast into the French landscape avoids folkloric pastiche. It gives a bleeding vision of peripheral France, much more entertaining than any treatise on sociology.

“Teddy”, by Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma, with Anthony Bajon, Christine Gautier and Ludovic Torrent, Duration 1h28


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