St. Anthony Main Theatre 3 Thu, Jul 20, 2017 7:00 PM
St. Anthony Main Theatre 3 Tue, Jul 25, 2017 4:20 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$10.00
Student w/ID (Box Office Only):$7.00
Film Info
Program:Lumières Françaises
Release Year:2016
Runtime:84 min
Print Source:Unifrance
Director:Olivier Babinet
Producer:Marine Dorfmann
Alexandre Perrier
Cinematographer:Timo Salminen
Editor:Isabelle Devinck
Composer:Jean-Benoît Dunckel


Director Olivier Babinet attending Thursday, July 20

Swagger is a beautifully shot, deftly edited documentary about life in the projects of the tough Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, as seen through the eyes of eleven middle school students, most of whom are first generation French citizens. Speaking directly to the camera as if it were a long-trusted confidante, these extraordinary young people talk about love, being French, life in the projects, and their visions of the future. Swagger seduces not only by the maturity, generosity, and frankness of its memorable subjects, but by the filmmaker’s efforts to lift it out of the quotidian by including charming flights of fancy that illustrate the children’s unspoken dreams. Shot in bold colors, with breathtaking aerial photography and a score by Jean-Benoît Dunckel, one half of legendary French electronic duo Air, Swagger is much more than another documentary about children’s resilience in challenging circumstances. But perhaps the film’s greatest accomplishment is to leave the viewer feeling she has made eleven new friends in a place she had never dreamed of visiting.

Director's Statement

When I arrived in Aulnay, the kids there kept using the word “swag”. Then, a year later, when I asked Re´gis to tell me about “swag”, he looked at me condescendingly: “‘Swag’ is out... Now we say ‘swagance’, ‘swagologist’...” I felt a little sheepish so I looked up the origin of the word. I read that it comes from “swagger”, the first written record of which can be found in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! “What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here so near the cradle of the fairy queen?”

In the 50s, it was used to talk about Sinatra: it referred to a bad boy’s classiness. The word re-emerged in Black American ghettos in the 90s before being used in Aulnay. It has regularly come back in fashion since the 16th century. I thought it was a good title for my film because my main characters have this stylish way of being in the world. They all have an attitude and things they want to defend: despite the hardships, the kids of Aulnay keep their heads up high. Because they have “swag”. The striking contrast between this vital energy, this pride thrown in the face of the world, and the harshness of their environment is what really moved me during the years I spent in the Claude Debussy school. This experience fed into the making of Swagger, a film that doesn’t describe poor suburbs but rather makes us see the world through the eyes of their children.


Lumiéres Françaises highlights an exciting new generation of rising French-language talent on both sides of the camera, from rebellious comedies to exquisite dramas and vivid documentaries.