Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, directors of the Magnificent7 Festival in Belgrade present ”Rules of the Game” that will be screened February 5th as the closing film of the festival. The text also includes words from the director:
There’s a rumour that the employment market is looking for bold individualists. Within limits, of course. The reality is: if it doesn’t fit, it’s made to fit – or rejected.
The unique pains of finding a job are almost universally relatable. In order to succeed, you must present a certain marketable version of yourself, place yourself in unnatural situations and, above all, play by the rules. It’s even harder when you have neither experience nor qualifications to your name. Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnard’s observational documentary takes on this very subject, focusing on a small group of disenfranchised young adults as they attend an employment consultancy firm in northern France. Through a series of vignettes we are effectively positioned to empathise with their frustrations, failures and successes over a number of months as they are coached through various stages of the employment process. Through their apprenticeship, the film reveals the absurdity of these new rules of the game.
This exquisite film done by true masters had a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and won one the most prestigious documentary prices in Europe – The Golden Dove at DOK Leipzig. The critic of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Bories and Chagnard have produced a piece that is urgent in its mission, nonjudgmental in its depiction of its subjects and entirely theatrical in its mise-en-scene and dialogue – a remarkable feat.”
Claudine Bories: One could say that “Rules of the Game” represent a follow-up to “The Arrivals”. The principle is the same: to film closely, with no preconceptions, what happens to people who are confronted on daily basis with major social issues of general concern. Chapter one: asylum seekers. Chapter two: jobseekers.
Patrice Chagnard: Our wish is to tackle realities everybody talks about, everybody believes they are familiar with, while hands-on, concrete approaches are rarely offered. “How does it feel to live through this?” That’s the question we ask ourselves, whether our film is about welcoming immigrants or about coaching unemployed youth. Major social issues are always a minefield littered with stereotypes and partisan rhetoric. The job of cinema is to demine the field by showing things as they are.
France, 2014, 106 mins.