It All Starts Today (1999)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Social Problem Film  |   Release Date - Sep 8, 2000 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 118 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Ça commence aujourd'hui, a social drama, is Bertrand Tavernier's first major film since winning a César (the Oscar of France) in 1996 for his epic Capitaine Conan. Set in a forlorn mining town near Valencienne in the north of France, the story is about one man's struggle to bring life to his once prosperous village and its inhabitants. Philippe Torreton, who won a César for Best Actor with his title role in Capitaine Conan, plays Daniel, the head teacher of a nursery school in a town demoralized by unemployment. Daniel is determined against all odds to bring life to the community. When a parent who has come to pick up her children collapses at the school grounds due to alcohol abuse, and social services turns a deaf ear to all pleas for help, Daniel decides to take the law into his own hands. Despite resistance from the townspeople, in the long run his efforts are not fruitless. Initially, he is assisted by his girlfriend Valéria, a young sculptor; gradually, the school nurse Samia joins forces with them. Ça commence aujourd'hui is a film committed to everyday heroism; it takes a multilayered approach to an array of problems. The visual force of the storytelling is especially powerful. Tavernier's Ça commence aujourd'hui received a Special Mention for its subject matter, the Ecumenical Jury award and FIPRESCI award (Federation of International Film Critics) at the 49th International Berlin Film Festival, 1999. Tavernier was previously the 1995 Berlin Golden Bear winner.

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Keywords

community, good-samaritan, small-town, teacher, France