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Arte shows the three-part series “Hidden in the tall grass”: The secrets of the province

In his three-part Arte series, writer and director Jérôme Bonnell subverts the carefree tone of lightweight summer comedies.

Frankfurt – It’s not a big issue with the public, but Arte France, the French arm of the cultural broadcaster, is one of the most avid producers of multi-parts and series. Many of them can be called up in the German streaming offer. This also applies to the three-part series “Hidden in the tall grass”. A title that can be taken both literally and metaphorically.

Jérôme Bonnell, a kind of child prodigy of French cinema, is the author and director. He made his first feature-length film at the age of 23 and has been able to take home quite a few festival awards since then. “Hidden in the tall grass” is his first TV multi-part.

“Hidden in the tall grass” (Arte): series debut of a child prodigy

In an appealing way, Bonnell draws on the over-present conventional crime scheme, which is often demanded by marketers, in a different way: he turns it around. Usually a crime occurs relatively early, the investigators step up and explore the private and professional environment of the victim, which provides more or less interesting insights, not only from a criminological point of view. Bonnell, on the other hand, begins his story in the private sphere and goes back a long way. That could be irritating at first.

Rolle Darsteller: in
Jules Antonin Chaussoy
Ambrose Lazare Gousseau
Glenn Jonathan Couzinié
Lucille Louise Chevillotte
Maud Lefort India Hair
Eve Merrieu Emmanuelle Devos
Mounir Sefraoui Raphael Acloque
Raoul Belhomert Quentin Bardou
Cyril Belhomert Clement Bertani
Ingrid Flora Babled

The mother of ten-year-old Jules (Antonin Chaussoy) is in hospital after a serious accident. Your sister gets into a quandary. She cannot take the boy in and gives him care with friend Ingrid (Flore Babled) and her partner Glenn (Jonathan Couzinié) in a rural area in the province of Touraine. Both take loving care of Jules, who speaks little, but sees everything around him with wide eyes and tries to understand.

“Hidden in the tall grass” (Arte): A harmless fall with dramatic consequences

He will cross the paths of Eve (Emmanuelle Devos), a middle-aged woman, a translator by profession, who lives alone but not celibate. The audience has already got to know her when she fell off the ladder while picking plums. Mounir (Raphael Acloque), a Frenchman with Algerian ancestry, works as a seasonal worker on a nearby farm, comes to her aid. The two immediately like each other, he maybe a bit more to her than the other way around. Some time later she wants to bring him some preserves as a thank you and learns from the farmer that Mounir has disappeared. Moved on, he says with a shrug. The police refuse to look for Mounir. The action would be too expensive, as Eve learns in the hand.

I would have to introduce the lively Maud (India Hair) from the corridor police. She has just dumped her married lover, forgets a few more tears, but is soon on top again and a refreshing force in the action that is now noticeably picking up speed. More and more often, Bonnell lets you see that uncomfortable things are happening away from the field of vision, through details and the use of the camera, which is secretly recording.

“Hidden in the tall grass”

Thursday, January 6, 2022, 9:50 p.m., three parts in a row and in the Arte media library.

“Hidden in the tall grass” has a typically French note. The main characters belong more to the upper classes: translator, freelance journalist, ex-police officer, comic artist … There are flirts, secret tête-à-têtes, fruitful chats, love affairs, crises. Young women cycling through sunny village landscapes in airy summer dresses.

“Hidden in the tall grass” (Arte): Children’s eyes see more

Some cinema directors are content with such bucolic scenes. Not so Bonnell, who undermines romanticism little by little. He reaches into the fund of well-known scenes and composes a multi-layered drama that conceals deep tragedy, which – viewed carefully – reveals the well-calculated character of pleasant summer comedies beyond the actual narrative.

We see a lot with Jules’ initially astonished, then reproachful eyes. In these moments, the cameraman Pascal Lagriffoul leads the camera at eye level with the ten-year-old, shows the world from his perspective.

Jules will be the first to know who became a criminal in the summer idyll. And understand. (Harald Keller)

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