The We and the I
- English subtitles
How do you resist peer pressure and remain an individual in school? Michel Gondry investigates this, along with a group of young people from the Bronx who play themselves.
The last day of school. The last bus ride home before the summer holiday begins. The group of students is exuberant and active: everyone’s talking, yelling and screaming at each other. With the emphasis on: ‘the group’, The We. The loner (whoever deviates from the norm, says something sensitive, sings a song) is collectively chastised, with varying amounts of humiliation.
French visual wizard Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) developed this modest, documentary-like low budget project during four years, together with a group of young people from the Bronx who more or less play themselves – with no intention of making themselves look good. Because man, am I glad I don’t have to ride this bus everyday. Such childish, stupid, petty peer pressure. Nevertheless, for some of them the ride turns into a rite: after conflicts and confrontations, the odd one still comes off the bus as an I. Stronger, more mature, ready for the next stage of life.
Translation Marjan Westbroek