The Orphanage - Philippe Niang - France
The Orphanage (France, 2018) by Eurochannel
The Orphanage (La révolte des innocents, 2018)
Director: Philippe Niang
In the dimly lit corners of early 20th-century France, a gripping saga of courage and redemption emerges, casting a light on a nearly forgotten chapter of history. Eurochannel premieres The Orphanage.
In the heart of early 20th-century France, amidst a backdrop of social upheaval and injustice, a remarkable and little-known story comes to life in the powerful historical period drama, The Orphanage. Based on true events, this stirring film takes audiences on a compelling journey through a harrowing chapter of history that marked a turning point in the fight for children's rights.
The movie delves into the heart-wrenching tale of Louise Perreau, a struggling mother who, in 1911, takes a leap of faith and secures a job in the bustling streets of Paris. Her decision to entrust her vivacious 10-year-old son, Gaston, to the Vermiraux institution seems like the beacon of hope that promises a better life and a brighter future for them both.
However, as the film unfolds, the seemingly impeccable façade of Vermiraux crumbles, revealing a stark and disturbing reality. This prestigious institution, promoted as a sanctuary for disadvantaged children, is a hotbed of abuse and exploitation, where the innocent are subjected to unimaginable horrors. The mistreatment, poor living conditions, and cruel exploitation of the young residents soon become unbearable, sparking a revolt that sends shockwaves throughout the nation.
At the heart of the story is Emile Guidon, a young and determined judge, who embarks on a relentless quest for justice. Guidon's pursuit of the truth brings to light the gruesome practices at Vermiraux, exposing the heartless duo who run the institution – Armand Sandrin and Joséphine Poliveau. Their reign of terror is brought to a halt as the justice system begins to recognize the voice of the innocent.
The Orphanage captures a pivotal moment in history, as the trial of Vermiraux's oppressors unfolds in 1911. This landmark trial sent shockwaves through society, making headlines across the country. The Avallon court's verdict was a milestone in the recognition of children's rights, leading to the establishment of the first juvenile court just a year later.
Despite the film's focus on historical events, the story's importance remains relevant to modern times, emphasizing the importance of respecting and listening to the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable in our society.