France, 2016 (MIFF 2017, MIFF Schools)

Director: Olivier Babinet

'A visually striking, atypical portrait of French youth … [that] struts its stuff with plenty of style and attitude.' – Hollywood Reporter

In the underprivileged Parisian bainlieue of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a diverse group of teenagers wrestle with familiar questions of what it means to leave childhood behind: love, identity, ambition, friendship, faith and family. But life can be hard in the suburbs of Paris and for these remarkable, ordinary teens, a reckoning with the future is something that brings with it both hope and fear. Swagger is their story, in their own words.

It is also a bold, genre-bending documentary from former music video director Olivier Babinet, with a score by Air's Jean-Benoît Dunckel. Embellishing the teens' fierce, frank and unique perspectives on their everyday realities with richly imagined fantasy sequences bringing their hopes and dreams to life, the film shines an optimistic light on a too-often dismissed stretch of the world, while simultaneously underlining the deep similarities that bind all of us together.

Unclassified: restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 13+

See also...


Michel Ocelot, the modern master of French animation, delivers another fantastical kaleidoscope of imagery and invention. ... In a forgotten cinema in Paris, a projectionist and his two young assistan... More »


The creative docudrama about an impoverished Dominican boy who dreams of stardom as a reggaeton singer. ... Charismatic 12-year-old Jeffrey lives in the slums of Santo Domingo, where he washes windshi... More »


With subtlety and sensitivity, Hello, Goodbye depicts an unexpected friendship between two girls on opposite sides of the adolescent social ladder. ... Hazuki and Aoi are classmates but their relation... More »


A darkly edged coming-of-age story filled with unexpected twists. ... It's summer in 1988 and 12-year-old Socrates is spending his days riding bikes around his tiny village in Cyprus and setting off m... More »


'The weeks in summer of 1945, when everything lay in ashes, were the most exciting, most thrilling and maybe even most beautiful weeks of my childhood.' – author Christine Nöstlinger ... After nine-ye... More »


The remote wilderness of Indonesia's Maluku Islands provide a magnificent backdrop for this gentle journey of youthful discovery. ... In a secluded village in Indonesia's beautiful Maluku Islands, ten... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director