Archive of films Seventeen / Dix-sept ans

2003, 83 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2004

Jean-Benoît is a 17-year-old who lives with his mother in the suburbs of Rouen. When he was twelve his father committed suicide. Seventeen presents three years of his complicated adolescence, captured by means of an ever-present camera.


For ninety minutes, director Didier Nion invites us into the company of 17-year-old Jean-Benoît, a remarkable young man from the suburbs of Rouen, who has just began an apprenticeship as an auto mechanic. Completing his studies will fulfill a personal dream and a promise made years ago to his father. At the same time he meets Helena, the girl of his dreams and his companion in the aching, complicated struggle that is growing-up. The absence of his father, problems with his mother, occasional flare-ups of aggression – these are just a few of the many obstacles making Jean-Benoît’s transfer to the adult world difficult. Nion confronts the young rebel with his own image, thereby compelling him to communicate, to defend his ideas and not just spout off. The documentary thus became a joint effort between the director and the subject of his film, while for many years the movie camera was the medium serving this complicated relationship, witnessing its developement into friendship.

About the director

Didier Nion (b. 1959, Le Petit Quevilly en Seine Maritime) worked as assistant camera on shorts and features for various directors (Claude Sautet, Luc Besson, Amos Gitai, Pierre Etaix). After participating as director of photography on several films, in the mid nineties he switched to directing documentaries. His films have been shown at festivals in Cannes, Nyon, Locarno, São Paulo and Chicago. Filmography (as director): Clean Time (Le soleil en plein hiver, 1996), July (Juillet, 1998), Five. Zero-Nine (Cinq. Zéro-Neuf, 1999), Vientiane. Carnet (1999), Voyages, voyages (1999), Seventeen (Dix-sept ans, 2003).


Mille et Une Films
11, rue Denis Papin, 35000, Rennes
Tel: +33 2 234 403 59

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Didier Nion
Screenplay: Didier Nion
Dir. of Photography: Didier Nion
Editor: Catherine Zins
Producer: Gilles Padovani
Production: Mille et Une Films
Contact: Mille et Une Films

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