One hot summer a bunch of bored middle class teenagers start having orgies and taking lots of drugs. Oh and they are French. So on paper this should be amazing and sexy and beautiful right? Wrong. Beginning with a quote from Carl Jung “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious” you are then set up for what is a rather empty philosophical diatribe.
Watching a group of self obsessed privileged little bleeps gets dull very quickly for the viewer, even if the characters are naked a lot of the time. The self obsessed selfie generation of bored beautiful youth doesn’t quite sit right and none of the characters are sympathetic even those who are supposed to be; like Gabriel whose father has been disabled by a recent accident.
The film is disturbingly pornographic in tone – young women with see through tops and no bra, short skirts with knee high socks, girl on girl action, etc; despite the director’s feminist leanings I personally didn’t find this to be very feminist at all The film seems aimed at straight men and their desires and the male characters call the shots. The only feminist thing in the film I felt was a young woman being blasé about having an abortion.
One of the main characters, Laetitia (Daisy Broom), at one point describes why the teens play the sex games – she says it makes them feel alive and free. This is very hard to believe as they all look so thoroughly uninterested whilst in the throes of the ‘passion’ that this feels like an extended episode of The Walking Dead with the kids as the zombies.
The film is beautifully shot and the soundtrack by Morgan Kibby – aka White Sea is outstanding and by far the best thing about the film.
This is writer/director Eva Husson’s debut feature and I sincerely wish there was more to like here. There are some interesting conceits and the most intriguing thing is the vague sub plot of ever increasing train disasters during the long hot summer during which the events take place.The largely absent parents have no idea what is going on under their noses but when Gabriel’s dad finds out about their antics he sums them up as ‘profoundly mediocre’ which is a great assessment of the film for me.