Thierry de Peretti, the actor and director fromAjaccio, offers a harsh portrait of his nativeCorsica: a complex and damaged place where the contradictions reign supreme. At best, the island is shown to the cinema as a gigantic beach, and at worst, as a cove of assassins.
The director analyses the complexity of his homeland where pastoral areas mingle with industrial building sites, that are destroying the island.
Inspired by a real-life crime, Les Apaches tells the story of Aziz, Hanza, François-Joseph and Jo, a group of adolescents aged between 17 and 19, who exemplify a frustrated young generation who have lost contact with reality.
One evening, Aziz takes his friends into a still uninhabited villa, where his father works during the day as a janitor. Before leaving, they steal a few items of little value, and two hunting rifles. When the owner of the house returns fromParis, she reports the theft to one of the local gang-leaders, and this is the start of the problems for the band of adolescents.
The film reveals the problems ofCorsica: the racism and the violence of certain of the island’s inhabitants, the social divides, the contempt and violence towards tourists and the hated “gaulois”. The director shows a far from idyllic scene, where nature is contaminated by ill-defined industrial areas, unsightly suburbs and dismal housing complexes. The protagonists are not united by any bond of friendship or pride in belonging to the territory, but by a concentration of violence and fear that pushes them into committing an irreparable act, dictated by a claustrophobic sense of control on the part of local gang-leaders, who are ready for anything.
The police are seen as a band of puppets submissive to another form of justice, where, in order to survive, it is essential that nothing is seen and recounted.
The director maintains a palpable tension throughout the film, causing a state of unease in the viewer that will culminate in a final scene that is incredibly evocative (it is impossible not to think of Larry Clark’s film Bully). Violence is the only reference point of these young people, who are adrift and aspire to a life that is all glitter, and who observe from afar, like true modern day apaches.