Suprêmes: “Moving, insightful and energy-rising: French hip hop band biopic is supremely good”
It could definitely be a contender for Palme d’Or but Audrey Austrougo’s Suprêmes is out of competition this year. The film takes place across a few years in the late 80s and early 90s. It chronicles NTM (which stands for the French translation of “F**k Your Mother”), a rap group of 30 young men and one woman as they try to make it as superstars of the genre. Protagonist Didier (Théo Cristine) is the irreverent, loud but likeable youngster who always puts on a brave face and appears too cool for anything. However, underneath it all, he still yearns for approval from his father, whose treatment drove Didier’s mother away. His father degrades him in Creole, a language the boy can’t speak, in front of all his friends and family ,and banishes him from his birthday party. Dider’s best friend Bruno works endless days on construction but the two write rap songs by night and after one successful gig, they are approached by a manager.
The film incorporates issues relevant then but more relevant now than ever. Police brutality against people of colour, especially the youth, is always lurking in the background of this work. The real horror of it is how commonplace it is to its characters. Didier arrives to his friends covered in blood and tells them of his encounter with the police, as if he’s telling them something as normal as taking the bus or buying a pint of milk. It’s also an interesting insight into rap at that time and how the genre was monopolised by Americans and that non-English speakers felt the only way to succeed is to rap in French – and that’s what NTM hope to disrupt.
The acting in this picture, particularly from leads Théo Cristine and Sandor Funtek, are the heart and soul of Suprêmes. Cristine’s irreverent high energy Didier to Funtek’s more muted and sensible Bruno make an astonishing pair and this stretches into their musical talent. When they are on stage surrounded by dancers and rapping about mistreatment, social class and all things that men of their socio-economic background have to deal with, it pulls the audience right into the mosh pit.
A moving, insightful and energy-rising ride from start to finish showcasing the talent of some of the most promising young actors in France, Suprêmes is supremely good.
Suprêmes does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.