In the mythical world of Bubunne, women are the leaders, politicians and breadwinners while the men wear Chadors, take care of the children, cook meals, keep house and hope to be blessed to produce several strong daughters for their wives. Women hold all of the military posts and the leader of the country is the General( Anemone) with the Colonel (Charlotte Gainsboug) an unmarried war hero next in line to rule. The best a man can hope for in the realm is to be good looking enough to marry upward.
Our hero Jacky (Vincent Lacoste) has the highest expectations. His looks are the talk of his small village and he is hopeful, as is his mother that he can catch the eye of and marry the Colonel.
Former Comic book writer Raid Sattouf production takes a satirical look at many topics. The first being male female relationships along with religion, dictatorships and State run propaganda.
The most compelling and subtle is his comment on blind worship and following. The whole Bubonne society is cocconed from the outside world. No foreign media, books, television, newspapers or magazines are allowed in the country. The ruling General is treated like a God coming to the balcony of the Palace proclaiming doctrines to the First Class (women) and Plebs (men) accompanied with a line of choreographed daily hangings of men dressed in black Chadors.
The whole population eat only mush that is central distributed from the palace and comes in through the kitchen faucet at each home. The country worship horses, especially small white ones with the countries' flag and medals for military leaders being two opposite facing horses heads and manes. Residence that claim that they have spoken to or were given direction by the animals are revered.
The acting in the piece is functional and does not pro due any stand out performances. Vincent Lacoste is watchable as the timid lead Jacky who is chased by all of the local women in town while being regularly abused by his Uncle Brunu (Didier Bordonne) and cousins. Academy Award winning director Michael Hazanavicious plays the most memorable character Julin who rebels against the system grows fresh vegetables against the rules and leads the Menism movement.
Director Sattouf has created a production that makes the audience think and ask questions about many of the institutions and practices in today's world that are taken as normal. His film is full of compelling ideas but some do not hit the mark.
** 1/2 Out of 4.
Jacky Au Reaume Des Filles | Raid Sattouf | France | 2014 | 87 Minutes.
Tags: Satire, Dictatorship, Sexism, Oppression, Military, Propaganda, Reclusive, Religion.