DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Coal Heap Kids

Coal Heap Kids

There was a witticism among producers in old Hollywood that a great film must begin with an explosion and then work up to a climax. This film, shot in the former mining region of Northern France, starts with six explosions. What the brothers Théo (10) and Loïc (15) blow up may only be Chinese firecrackers, but they still announce in the first ten seconds that this is about something big: the poverty that plagues Théo’s and Loïc’s hometown of Lens and has eaten its way into all the crevices of the personal and the social like aggressive acid. Once upon a time one would have been justified in predicting a great future as working class heroes for the boys. But who would want to recommend this ethically charged and outdated model to a young person today? Who could?!

“Coal Heap Kids” was made as a contribution to the “Infrarouge” documentary film series on French television. The energy that drives it is purely cinematographic, though. What does this mean? A film like this justifies the survival of documentary cinema. Once this sentence is written down, a lot of things become easier. Because in cases where a pounding heart will not (or cannot) be translated into sober words, a hug is sometimes all it takes!

Ralph Eue
Original Title: Enfants du terril
Country: France
Year: 2016
Language: French
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 52 min.
Format: HD Videofile (ProRes 422 HQ 1080p)
Color: Colour
Director: Frédéric Brunnquell
Producer: Anne Gintzburger
Cinematographer: Frédéric Brunnquell
Editor: Laure Matthey
Sound: Marc Soupa
Script: Frédéric Brunnquell, Anne Gintzburger

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2017 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.