It’s September 1963, and for the first time in its history, the public high school Voltaire of Saint-Jean, will be welcoming girls. There are 11 of them, for hundreds of boys. It’s a revolution.
In a world where men and women still have mainly places dedicated to one or the other (spatially and socially), high-school coeducation is implemented out of economic necessity and will disrupt habits. Not everyone is delighted with the experience, be it teachers or even — oddly enough — students.
Michèle, who didn’t ask for it, ends up in the same establishment as her big brother, Jean-Pierre, to the great displeasure of the latter, who keeps a close eye on her and doesn’t quite like the way boys look at her… Annick is brilliant and determined to prove that she’s every bit as intelligent as the boys. She arouses hostility from some, while others lose their heads over her beauty. Simone, a pied-noir from Algeria, hopes that the boys and the first emotions of love will clear her head and heal her homesickness. For Pichon the whipping boy, Descamps the alpha male, Laubrac the welfare kid, but also for all of the teaching staff, the girls’ presence will disrupt relations and reshuffle the cards.
Being set in a high school – the place for hormonal fireworks! — Voltaire High sheds a new light on current themes. The show bluntly poses the question of the relationships between men and women, and narrates this forced improvisation of a “living together” that had never been imagined outside of marriage.