Challenging and controversial in equal measure, this is one teen movie with a hell of a big twist.
Anaïs is thirteen. Intelligent, mature and open-minded - she’s also overweight and burdened with the comparison to a thin and pretty fifteen-year-old sister, Elena. Together on a family holiday, the bored siblings come across a handsome Italian boy, Fernando, who quickly, and predictably, moves to seduce Elena.
Encouraged by her sister, Elena decides to consummate her brief romance – while Anaïs is in the room. And from then on, things get more unexpected and more controversial.
Catherine Breillat fearlessly takes on some of the sacred cows of women’s sexuality. Tapping into the oft-explored power of teenage girls: their burgeoning womanhood, desire and self-knowledge, Breillat’s unashamedly arthouse, unashamedly French take rebuts our well-mannered expectations and preconceptions about the innocence of teenage girls.
Strangely accessible, it’s not a story to forget quickly – with Anaïs Reboux giving an extraordinary performance as the titular heroine.
France 2000 Dir Catherine Breillat 83 min 35mm presentation In French with English subtitles
Please note: contains scenes of nudity and strong violence