It has become de rigueur within the popular media and modern journalism to castigate Millennials as stupid, fickle or vacuous (seemingly intent on ignoring the fact that it’s not the young who have caused this mess the world finds itself in today). What was noticeable after the horrendous attacks in Paris in 2015 was the amount of young people on the streets. Whilst they’re often denigrated, they’re rarely given a voice. The chance to have their say.
In the months following the attacks, film-maker Matthieu Bareyre took to the streets of the French capital at night to see how the young are reclaiming the agenda. He speaks and follows a group of Parisians as they go clubbing, hang out with their friends in the streets and during the demonstrations and riots. In Young and Alive they discuss their futures, inequality and the political landscape in modern France.
Young and Alive is a vibrant, colourful and hopeful portrait of the youth who frequent the Parisian streets. There’s a vibrancy and hopefulness which comes through Bareyre’s lens. There’s also a profound sense of anger and disenfranchisement. There’s no faith in the political elite to improve things and a growing hatred of the police and authorities. Young and Alive is one of the most powerful and important documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. It also offers hope for the future.
Young and Alive screens at London Film Festival on 14 and 16 October.