Profession du Pere is an emotionally heavy drama about generational trauma taking place in Lyon, France in 1961. Profession is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Sorj Shalandon. The film tells the tale of twelve year old, Emile Choulans (Jules Lefebvre), who looks up to his father Andre (Benoit Poelvoorde) and is willing to do anything to make him happy. Emile just wants his father to love him. Andre is constantly telling Emile stories about his time in the war and stories about his countless professions and ideas. He convinces young Emile to carry out his grandiose mission to save Algeria.
Profession du Pere is intense and difficult to watch at times. The film takes a look at the impacts of mental illness and trauma and how our relationships with our parents shape us. Poelvoorde does a fine job of playing Andre and really captures the intensity and complexity of emotions needed for the role. Dana as Denise really captures great emotional depth in her performance as mother of Emile and wife of Andre. Lefebvre as young Emile, also delivers a strong performance in a challenging role. The music in the film by Quentin Sirjacq is really well done and adds to the overall viewing experience.
While it features some great acting and music, the film’s story doesn’t completely come together. Professions du Pere definitely could’ve used a tighter edit. The pace moves a bit too slow throughout and this makes the film feel longer than it is. The story begins to feel repetitive and drawn out as it nears the end and could’ve benefit from a more solidly edited script. Overall, Professions is an affecting film about family dynamics with some solid performances.