Tjenbe Red

Chloé Léonil

Zig is a « loulou » as they are called in Martinique. He has been out of jail for eight months, living with his mother, hanging out with friends and fishing for shellfish which he sells to restaurants. When his girlfriend finds out that she is pregnant, it is an opportunity for Jordan to change his life, to have responsibilities, to play a role. Motivated by the idea of becoming a father, he starts seeking a serious job but is quickly pushed over the edge. No one sees anything but a thug in him.

Executive producersStenola productions
CoproductionKG production (FR)
PartnersThe cinema and audiovisual center of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation
Sales/distributorsOrigine Films
Short film
Colors, 30 min

My desire with TJENBE RED is to tell the intimacy of Zig, his childlike candor that clashes with his locker, his little pleasures of the present in the face of his pans from the past. Tell how difficult it is for him to overcome the image of a delinquent that sticks to his skin. Describe this painful and impossible quest for recognition. Say how, by always expecting the worst from him, he is condemned to do the worst. Zig, however, clings to all the meager prospects that can be offered to him, to all the interests that are shown to him. I want to tell how a naïve little thug with too much love can see in the chimera of fatherhood the solution to all his ills to the point of wanting to dive into it like a mad dog. To tell the sweetness of the one who knows how to be violent.

This film is also an opportunity for me to finally be able to tell a story in Martinique, the island where my father grew up and where my mother has returned to live today. Martinique I came there like Casey, “per period”, generally a month of summer during the school holidays that I spent with my grandmother, my uncles and aunts. This small territory occupies an important place in my identity, a rock to which I have always attached myself to justify my difference. I have often come across the cuties, under the kiosks of the communes or in the squares of Fort de France but especially in my imagination, and according to what he likes to tell me, they are a bit like my father in their age, proud and fiery. Obviously, while doing my location scouting, I realized that it was much more complex than that. By meeting young people, judges, social workers and educators, I was able to understand the very delicate situation of many of them, without family support, for whom it is more a question of surviving than of living. With Jordan, I understood that the idle and proud image he gives to see is only a shell, a protection, forged during years of hardship and disappointment. But the starting point of this project is still this curious fascination that these young men have always aroused in me, by their marginality and their relationship to the present.


Written byChloé Léonil
Directed by Chloé Léonil
Director of PhotographyMathilde Blanc
EditingNina Haditalab
SoundLancelot Hervé Mignucci
Sound DesignJean-François Levillain
GradingXavier Dockx
Production director Sophie Lixon


ZigGiovani Mole

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