'The We and the I' follows a group of Bronx highschool students as they take a bus journey home on the last day of school, learning tough lessons about themselves and their peer group along the way.
Michel Gondry's latest film 'The We and the I' follows a group of Bronx highschool students as they head home on the bus on the last day of school. Gondry says he got the idea from his own experiences as a student in Paris. He worked with students from a Bronx community centre called The Point over a three year period to refine the screenplay. SOUNDBITE: Michel Gondry, 'The We and the I' Director saying (English) "You start with a big of people and there are a certain number of rules that are safe and established. Certain people are thriving and you change the number and people are behaving differently. You share their emotions and there is a geometry and there is something more organic underneath that keeps them alive," explains director Michel Gondry. The Hollywood Reporter calls the film "an idiosyncratic, funny, unexpectedly poignant snapshot of American youth". Seven of the Bronx students who acted in the film made the trip to Cannes to take in the spectacle. SOUNDBITE: BRANDON DIAZ, ACTOR, SAYING (English): "This is the first time being out of the country. The only flight I've been on was to Florida. That was only three hours, so being on that flight was kinda hard, but being here is beautiful. I never thought I'd see France, nevermind Cannes and you know the different places we've seen. It's incredible. Words can't even express it." SOUNDBITE: RAYMOND DELGADO, ACTOR, SAYING (English) : "I am appreciating every second I am spending here because I never thought I'd ever leave the country. I never thought I'd even get a passport. Ever. A passport was just a myth in my life." SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL BRODIE, ACTOR, SAYING (English): "Just to get love from people who don't even know you. From that one event, they're showing you so much love. Oh my god. Words can't even describe how it makes you feel," adds Michael Brodie, who has a central role in the ensemble film. Life on the bus buzzes with insults, pranks, and energetic exhibitionism. And while the students are all on the bus together, it's clear that's where the togetherness ends. SOUNDBITE: LAIDYCHEN CARRASCO, ACTOR, SAYING (English): "And basically the movie reveals that just because we're in different groups, we all have the same problems. Maybe not the same, but we all are suffering from growing up. Teenage years are important years. You find out who you are, you self identity, your sexuality. You find out who you're going to be with. Who you want to be. So that's basically the movie. It teaches us that we're all the same." Though the bus ride does seem unbearably long, there is a sense that some of these kids are left at a different place by the end of the journey. For the actors who've taken the journey from the Bronx to Cannes, discoveries are being made which may leave them similarly altered. Matt Cowan, Reuters, in Cannes