How about casting the children. They had to speak about some uncomfortable things. How was it to work with that?
First of all, in France we have an institution called Le Das. They protect all the children that are engaged in theatre, commercials, movies. I think the French are so good with the kids when they are working. I had to wait to get permission such a long time until they said yes. I had to change the script, take out some dialogue and scenes, so it was a really long process. When I got permission it was because I took out scenes and dialogue that were too rude. When I met them, the institution, they explained to me that a child could have a problem when he becomes an adult if he does a movie with intimacy problems. He gave me the comparison that if a child is doing a horror movie which he could see his mother decapitated with a chain saw, it’s okay. No problem. And I said, “Are you sure?” They said, “Yes, that’s allowed.” I didn’t have any choice. I had to take out some dialogue. So I did it. And then my producer asked me, “Are you shooting what you promised to do?” Because Le Das asked me to write an official paper, and I had to write, “Yes, I’m going to shoot what I put in the script and I’m not going to do something over. And my producer asked me, “Are you sure you’re going to follow your paper?” I asked myself, “What am I going to do?” And I said to myself, “I think the institution is wrong. I think the kids know what they’re doing. They know this is fake. They know this is cinema. But I cannot take the risk. As a mother, as a human being, if, for example I say to a kid, “You’re going to say ‘suck my dick,’ but it’s not in the script, don’t say it to your mother,” and twenty years later I hear that child was having problems I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. So I said to myself, “I’m going to follow the paper that I wrote.” When I finished the shoot, I was in the editing room, and for the first time I said to myself Le Das helped me out because I haven’t shot what I wanted to shoot, I haven’t put the dialogue that was rude, but I figured out that the imagination—what you do not see on the screen—is more powerful than what you see. For example the scene in the gymnastic restrooms, at the beginning we were feeling the child doing a blow job, but of course I wouldn’t ask the child to do it. I wanted to put a wig into the frame, but Le Das told me “You cannot do that because the others are going to think that the child did do that, so you cannot do it.” And I said to myself when I was editing this scene, “Hey, it’s better.” It’s better because we know that something happened right before but we don’t know what exactly. Your brain makes you freak out. So as a director I learned so much because of that. I discovered that the less you show, the more it’s powerful.