Guidelines

Gimmicky and not particularly edifying, this Canadian documentary considers teen delinquents at a rural Quebec high school and administrators’ efforts to discipline them. Director Jean-Francois Caissy cribs most of his stylistic ideas—static long takes, exacting sound design, and a canny use of offscreen space—from Michael Haneke, while his depiction of public school life as inherently dehumanizing feels like a retread of Frederick Wiseman’s High School (1968). One of Caissy’s devices is never to show the administrator when teens are disciplined, instead centering the kids in an otherwise blank widescreen frame; this is supposed to make them seem vulnerable, but since few of them show remorse for bullying, picking fights, or dealing drugs, it just makes them seem even more aloof. In French with subtitles.