Step by Step (2001)

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Synopsis by Connor McMadden

Shot entirely in split screen, Step by Step tells the story of a homeless young man named Stéphane who wakes up one morning in a French hospital, with no identification, a gun among his few personal possessions, and a female police detective trying to find out who he is. For Stéphane, the interrogation is a bit of a game. He's done something terrible, but whatever that may be, he hides behind tales of life on the streets of Paris. As Stéphane babbles, the detective cycles back through her memories of unsolved cases involving street people, until she comes to the conclusion that Stéphane is a long-sought runaway who fled home after murdering his drug addict brother. According to director Merlin, the use of the split screen is no mere visual spectacle; it is an innovative storytelling tool by which the past can be confronted by the present, an essential ingredient in a tale about a "young man to whom life offers a second chance."