The kid with a Bike (Le gamin au vélo)

After a lovely week spent with the Scottish Swimming team in Sunderland, I finally made it to the Filmhouse in Edinburgh to watch ‘The Kid with a bike‘, as I read some great reviews about it. And the with the title in mind there was also a personal interest on what role the bike will play.

The story centres around 11-year old Cyril (Thomas Doret), who obsessively tries to find his bicycle after his father abandons him. Almost by accident he becomes the ward of kind hairdresser Samantha, wonderfully portrayed by Cecile de France, who doesn’t give up the fight looking after Cyril, even though his disastrous look for a father figure puts their newly formed relationship under immense pressure at times. When it is down for Samantha to decide for Cyril or her boyfriend, she opts for the kid instead.

Watch the movie yourself, another gem of French cinema, but it was interesting for me to see the role his bicycle plays in Cyril’s life. After he first frantically searches for it after his father sold it, and therefore sold a huge part of his life, he finally gets it back from Samantha, who manages to give it back to him. The bike is the thing the two have in common first, and also connects Cyril’s past and new life. In the end he also uses it to finally establish a long lasting relationship with Samantha, who finally takes up cycling to enter Cyril’s world.

It is quite disturbing but also utterly encouraging to see the role the bike plays and in stages I found parallels in my own life here. Disturbing by the fact that a material thing like a bicycle can, at times, replace the need for human relationships and be a thing to cling onto in hard times, proving possibly the only thing stable in a life in total turmoil. Encouraging as it paves the way into a new future, helps to be more selective on which relationships you choose and also offers great opportunities by building a stable social life around one’s passion – cycling.

Summing it up, ‘The Kid with a bike’ is a great film, possibly the best one I’ve seen so far. In stages it reminded me that it is good to have great passion like cycling. being very emotionally told and worth a watch. Go and see it while you can, a gem not to be missed.