“The World after us”: a disoriented youth looking for their way – Le Monde

Labidi (Aurélien Gabrielli) in “The World After Us”, by Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas. TANDEM FILMS THE OPINION OF THE “WORLD” – TO SEE Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas’ first feature film, presented at the Berlinale 2021, bears a title that resembles a book by Nicolas Mathieu, Their children after them (Actes Sud, Goncourt Prize, 2018). Like the latter, he has the will to write the intimate and political story of a youth who must find their way in a world of brutes, at the crossroads of difficulties. Here, a class defector, a budding love story and the life of an artist. But unlike the first, which follows a myriad of characters in eastern France, Le Monde après nous focuses on a young man in love in Paris. Originally from Lyon where his parents run a café, Labidi went to the capital to publish a novel on the Algerian war, echoing his family history, on the paternal side. It is there, between odd jobs and torn drafts, that he tries to reconcile dreams of recognition, married life and financial resources. While the film draws a picture of the era of generalized subcontracting, Labidi, as a Deliveroo delivery man and a salesman of glasses, remains on the threshold of his roles, occupying vis-à-vis his bosses and his customers a position of spectator, he who cherishes the dream of becoming an artist and a good husband. So he chooses, in a more romantic way, to throw himself under a truck or to stage a burglary to earn more with the insurance and offer his sweetheart, still a student, a more comfortable life. If the director’s tender gaze finds fulfillment in this step aside, his way of rounding off the angles of precariousness does not allow social criticism to be carried to the end but manages to move the film towards a more intimate place. Intense calls for air With low noise and over the scenes, Le Monde après nous brings out the central question of transmission with what it implies in terms of debt and guilt. Half French, half Algerian – “but it doesn’t show on me”, he says – Labidi abandons his novel about the war to talk about his daily efforts. While one might fear this double choice of autofiction and film within the film (strongly inspired by the life of the director), Le Monde après nous thickens with a feeling of nostalgia when it confronts the youth of Labidi to that of his parents: the young man’s comings and goings between Lyon and Paris create intense calls for air that link him to his father’s maiden voyage from Algeria to France. You have 25.59% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.