Director Guillaume Brac emits sunshine and French joy in his film ‘Treasure Island.’ The opening credits set against a bright aqua with Easter yellow letters shows the audience a preview into the lighthearted movie that will play before them.
The documentary starts out with five young boys trying to desperately argue their way into the waterpark located in Paris’ outskirts. The boys, however, are not 15 years old and are not accompanied by their parents, and therefore are turned away by the park employees. While disheartened, the boys decide to sneak in by hiding their clothes in some bushes and jumping into a kind of lazy river that surrounds the park.
This starting scene is just one of many that brings laughter and nostalgia to the viewers. The serene music that accompanies beautiful shots of the parks’ beach, still waters and grassy hills and fields, fits perfectly with the sound of French speakers and a summer aura.
Subtitles provide non-French speakers a way to easily follow the mischievous kids trying to climb fences to get to the park, teenagers hitting on girls with no success and young adults cheekily jumping off a bridge. Throughout the film, loud but happy shrieks can be heard from the many children in the parks, along with the thundering splashes of bodies hitting the water.
Instead of an obvious message to the story, the filmmaker follows many young people in their time around the French waterpark. While there are various ages, genders and types of groups, the raison d’etre is always the same: to enjoy life. The slowness of these scenes reminds the audience to slow down in their own fast paced lives and gives a view back into their own childhood. There are no cellphones in site in the waterpark, and instead the people are in awe of the natural views and the company of each other.
Brac’s shots of seemingly ordinary glimpses into people’s lives should not be overlooked, as he made two movies prior, in order to get close to park management. This brings a real viewpoint into the park as well as the opportunity to learn about the serious issues everyday people have to face.
To watch this movie is to step back in time, to a world that is both carefree and full of jubilance. Whether individuals watches this by themselves or with family and friends, they will leave appreciating those around them as well as the little moments in life. Aptly named, ‘Treasure Island’ is filled with tiny drops of gold and gives one the opportunity to choose what to do with the message left.
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