Scapper

GRIEF, RENT, A BUMPY LIFE AND A REDISCOVERED FATHER: ELEMENTS+10 WERE BEWITCHED BY GEORGIE’S STORY.

Georgie, the young protagonist of Scrapper in competition for Elements +10, is forced to face the first major turning point in her life: her mother dies, and she must quickly become an adult. The new situation does not frighten her: she faces it with dignity and resourcefulness, seeking autonomy and dignity.

Georgie, the young protagonist of Scrapper in competition for Elements +10, is forced to face the first major turning point in her life: her mother dies, and she must quickly become an adult. The new situation does not frighten her: she faces it with dignity and resourcefulness, seeking autonomy and dignity. Her house is the cleanest in the neighbourhood. She even convinces the child welfare workers that she has an uncle by her side who can take care of her. In actual facts, she earns her living by scrounging for bicycles with the help of her friend Ali. Then suddenly a stranger burst in her life. He shouldn’t be one, but that’s what he has become: her father Jason, whom she does not recognise at first, turns up at her door. A dialogue between… adults begins, made up of challenges: ‘Get out of my house’ versus ‘This was my house before you arrived’; ‘I pay the rent’ versus ‘Now let’s see, little girl, how long you’ll be able to pay it’. Then a new relationship begins, made up of time and fall outs (the daughter checks her father’s phone; the father tries to take away his daughter’s fallen tooth), of small tests of transmission. It is a true dialogue, a new but strong relationship, when Jason takes Georgie back to where he grew up, to the countryside. He tells her “This bracelet is for your birthday and even if today is not your birthday, it is for all the birthdays I have missed”. The jurors sense that the film is about to take a turn and emphasise this in the auditorium with their applause, even over a unexpected yet welcome cake, which Georgie receives on the train on her way home. Everything comes full circle when her father tells her to listen to an audio message. It is the mother, still alive at the time of the message, speaking to Jason and inviting him ‘to grow up and go back to his daughter’, especially when she – very soon – will be gone. It is a sort of spiritual testament: love heals wounds and closes distances up to the first embrace that comes at the end of everything but from which everything begins. This is the daughter’s declaration of love as she discovers a guide, or rather a helper: ‘I didn’t think I needed you, but now that I know you, I can’t pretend nothing happened. Shall we give each other a hug then? Yes, but clean up after yourself and remember I am the adult and you are the child’. Who’s Georgie? A little girl from the suburbs who attended an audition, talked about her life and the director chose her. ‘I wanted her exactly like that,’ said director Charlotte Regan, ‘For me, the casting had to be authentic. It would have been strange not to contact a working-class community to find Georgie. It would have been like saying, ‘We’re going to steal all of your culture and we’re looking for someone else to play it’. Besides, I like working with kids who have never made films before”.

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