Vincent Lindon as a depressed French teacher saved by a young Roma man

With this new humanist feature film, Nicolas Boukhrief tells the moving story of an encounter between two bereaved souls, on one side a lonely and disillusioned professor, on the other an exploited and mistreated Romanian child.

France Télévisions – Culture Editorial


Reading time: 3 min

Vincent Lindon and Stefan Virgil Stoica in the film "Like a son" by Nicolas Boukhrief, released March 6, 2024. (2023SWWAD)

After adapting in 2018 Three days and a lifethriller and bestseller by Pierre Lemaitre, Nicolas Boukhrief returns with a new drama, Like a sonwhich this time addresses a dual issue: that of the flagging commitment of teachers in schools in the Republic, and that of the living conditions of migrant children. Like a son hits theaters on March 6.

Jacques (Vincent Lindon), French teacher, temporarily left National Education after an altercation in his class. He walks in circles a little, alone in his big empty house. One day, while he was shopping at the local grocery store, three young people attacked the shopkeeper. Jacques intervenes and participates in the arrest of one of them, Victor (Stefan Virgil Stoica), a 14-year-old Roma boy, immediately taken away by the police. When Victor reappears a few days later, Jacques, touched by this exploited and beaten boy, decides to take his destiny into his own hands. This meeting will turn the child’s life upside down, and give meaning to Jacques’ life.

The professor lives in a large bourgeois house, like his colleagues to whom he is invited. We are surprised, and then we forget. Jacques is an aesthete, in love with old books, which he collects and cherishes in his spare time. When he needs money, he sells book after book to secure Victor’s daily visits, which he sells with the family.

The film sensitively addresses the question of mourning, filiation and transmission, with in the background the social question of the reception of Roma, their living conditions, the violence which is sometimes exercised on children , treated here with accuracy, without caricature, and without pathos.

New family

Through this meeting with Victor, and in the attention he gives him, Jacques reconnects the thread of his life, broken by a bereavement. He also finds meaning in his job as a teacher, by getting involved in Victor’s education. “The discomfort of many teachers comes from their relationship to the structure in which they operate rather than from a rejection of the very fact of teaching”, underlines the director, who investigated the educational environment to prepare his film. Jacques also finds the joy of doing his job in his commitment to the children of migrants hosted by an association. A place that offers him a new family, and perhaps even a new love.

Vincent Lindon, once again very committed and fair, is up to the young Stefan Virgil Stoica, the excellent young Romanian actor interpreting with a mixture of intensity and sobriety the role of Victor, cast in a drama school in Romania. The characters who make up Victor’s extended family are played by Roma, whom the director met thanks to the La Pagaille association, founded by Gaëtan Lecompte, who became the technical advisor on the film for this issue.

Stefan Virgil Stoica in the film

“This gave rise to wonderful encounters: most were enthusiastic, happy to share their experiences and their energy,” confides the director in the presentation of the film. Some have also joined the decoration team, “to help build the camp and make it as realistic as possible”he specifies.

The camera is almost constantly moving, as close as possible to the characters. Like a report, the images are captured from life, taking us into the emotional upheavals of the characters. The film nevertheless unfolds at a slow pace – that of the patience that Jacques needs to win the trust of a Victor worn down by life. And vice versa. “What am I for?” Jacques asks at the beginning of the story. A question answered by this humanist film, which pays a singular tribute to the teaching profession.

Movie poster

The sheet

Gender : Drama
Director: Nicolas Boukhrief
Actors: Vincent Lindon, Karole Rocher, Stefan Virgil Stoica
Country : France
Duration :
Exit :
Distributer :
The pact
Synopsis : Jacques Romand is a professor who lost his vocation. Witness to an attack in a local grocery store, he allows the arrest of one of the thieves: Victor, 14 years old. But upon discovering the fate of this out-of-school kid who is forced to steal to survive, Jacques will do everything he can to help this young man who is on such a bad path. Even if it means confronting those who exploit it. By fighting against Victor’s own reluctance to try to offer him a better future, Jacques will change his own destiny…

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