La Mif (The Fam) is a snapshot of the lives of a group of young women and those who care for them in a residential care home. Each one has a story to tell, and each grapples with their own issues, whether that be sexuality, suicide or grief.
The film follows the fallout after 17 year old Audrey is discovered having sex with a younger boy also living at the care home. To save the reputation of the care home and avoid the press, the home becomes exclusively female. As questions are asked and tensions rise among the residents and the workers, other events threaten to spread further division. But despite the chaos and the frequent fights, the relationships between the young women hold tight.
Their love and loyalty to each other is the light in a film that deals with so many tragic and heartbreaking events. The home’s residents are what draw you into La Mif. But it has equally important things to say about the people who care for them.
We see how caring for young people who have gone through unimaginable trauma carries a high emotional cost. During one team meeting a social worker tries to hide her tears after hearing that a resident has lost her father. At all times, there’s a sense that those who care try to do the best they can with the very limited resources they’ve been given. La Mif alludes to the pinch on services, even if it doesn’t deal with it explicitly.
At the start of the film, the care home only really houses older teenagers. But as it progresses, the residents gets younger. In the film’s last scene, a toddler is brought into the care home.
With brilliantly natural performances from its young actors, La Mif is a believable film that treats young people in the care system and the workers with a great amount of sensitivity. It is a film that doesn’t shy away from presenting the system’s horrors without ever sensationalising them.
In cinemas from Friday 25 February
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