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Burns and Smiles – Mathéo

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At first sight, Mathéo seems to be a slightly clichéd portrait of a day in the life of teenage boy, albeit a boy with severe facial scarring. He rocks up at high school, high-fiving his chums, shoots a few hoops, bants with his teacher and exchanges flirty glances, and more… with a doe-eyed girl. 

It’s not until the final punchline that the film, directed by Bertrand Degove and Fabrice Gobert through Wanda, executes a speedy change of tone, turning from slightly saccharine to funny – almost as if it had been pulling the (pullover) wool over one’s eyes – a metaphor that maybe more tangled than a ball of yarn attacked by an angry kitten, but one that will become clear on watching. 

Making an impactful message about how we view people with facial disfigurements, the film aims to raise awareness of the organisation Burns and Smiles which supports some of the 400,000 in France who suffer burn injuries each year. 

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