Custody (Jusqu'à la garde) Reviews
The revelation of the struggles that the family faces is gradual and painfully reminds us how these struggles are often not perceived by outsiders. The film starts with the hearing of the parents by a custody judge, mainly discussing whether the father (Denis Menochet) should have visitation rights to the younger child Julien (Thomas Gloria). The judge reads a statement from the child that he does not want to see his father. The father argues that he loves his son very much and that their relationship is necessary. Without further evidence, as the audience, we sympathize with the father, assuming the best in him, and giving him benefit of the doubt. So did the judge, granting the visitation rights.
However, within an hour and a half, we would come to know a family that we see every day, and then come to understand how much cannot be seen on the surface. With the film, we see how someone who may be a loving and pitiful father can at the same time be dangerously violent towards those he loves, and the physical and emotional wounds cruelly cut by these threats. The perspective of the film heavily focuses on the fear instilled the victims and the terror of not being able to get out
Domestic violence is a social issue far too underrecognized and happens way more often than imagination. Even in many developed countries, 1 in 3 women has been physically assaulted by an intimate partner. The film is daringly truthful and touches the soul. Bravo to the director Xavier Legrande for his first feature.