C’mon C’mon… An intriguing English title for a project that was just as intriguing. “With this title, I tried to offer an open ending, it could be a lot of different things. But it’s also an invitation to join the dance”, explained its director to us on the phone, from Los Angeles. new film by Mike Mills, a sort of Greta Gerwig in the masculine, was unveiled a few months ago in an enigmatic first trailer, with at the top of the poster an 11-year-old boy with brown curls and, at his side, the superstar Joaquin Phoenix, recent interpreter of the Joker and future Napoleon for Ridley Scott. United States with him to reach out to a young generation of clairvoyant Americans. The complexity of youth Education, heritage and intergenerational transmission are subjects dear to Mike Mills, which he will explore three times, Be ginners in 2010 then in 20th Century Women six years later and today in Nos âmes d’enfants. “We all learn from each other and each understands who he really is through his interactions with others.” having come out at the age of 75. Faced with the failure of his love life, Oliver, played by Ewan McGregor, autopsied his sentimental failures through the prism of the history of his parents. In 20th Century Women, it was to his mother that Mike Mills paid homage to his way. Santa Barbara, at the dawn of the 1980s: Jamie is raised by his single mother, supported by Abbie, a punk artist whom she lodges, and Julie, Jamie’s best friend with whom he is secretly in love. Together, the trio works on their intellectual and sentimental education. With these two promising feature films, the director dissects the relationships between generations within the family unit. “My films are both personal and extremely impersonal.” With Our Children’s Souls, once again inspired by his life and his relationship with his own son, he probes the notion of transmission on a larger scale and takes the temperature of an entire generation who, at Johnny’s microphone, questions the world that parents pass on.”I wanted to put my personal story at the service of a larger and collectively shared story. The vision of these children on our world is like the ground on which the film is built.”These interludes anchored in reality come from real interviews that Joaquin Phoenix conducted, prior to the film, with young Americans, adopting in turn the position of the one who asks the questions, a posture that the actor usually despises. This documentary material is inserted into fiction to give it a new echo and, thanks to the enlightened words of this thoughtful young generation, this delicate road-movie is transformed into a feature film that brings hope. If Johnny is the journalist in the story, he is often pushed to his limits by his shrewd nephew who is the one who asks him the real questions – “why did you and mom get mad?”, “why aren’t you married?” – without the intermediary of a microphone. By Woody, Mike Mills proves his unshakable faith in today’s youth and counts on the generation to come to ask the right questions. “I wanted to get away from this image that we usually have of children, often seen as innocent little beings. I don’t think children are smarter than adults, but I think it’s minimized that they really are. I tried to show their dark and complex side .”Back to basicsIn the city, Mike Mills is also a graphic designer and videographer. He notably imagined album covers for Sonic Youth and the Beastie Boys and signed music videos for Air and Yoko Ono. In Beginners and 20th Century Women, he interspersed his stories with photos and drawings or backed them up with archival footage to illustrate major events in his parents’ lives, the fights for gay rights on one side or the disputes of an America in full metamorphosis of the other, which painted the portrait of a country in mirror of the family history. With Our souls of children, the director returns to the essential in a black and white under the influence of Wim Wenders, purified to the maximum and tightened on this duet with relations made of daily life, anxieties, hopes and sharing. In this fourth feature film, words also take their revenge on the image and celebrate the radio, this old medium both intimate and minimalist, which, via a simple microphone, allows all confidences. This time, no more drawings or photos superimposed on the story, but only the voices of the children interviewed who, too, sketch a portrait of contemporary America through the eyes of those who will make it tomorrow. So who, after his father, mother and son, will be the next “victim” of Mike Mills? “My dog, he’s very emotional, it would make a good subject for a film.” Our Children’s Souls hits theaters today.