The only residents of young Nicholas' sea-side town are women and boys. When he sees a corpse in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?
It's been six months since Rachel Siprien disappeared. At the request of Rachel's mother, private detective François takes over the investigation. The young woman, with a complex and ... See full summary »
Samuel Le Bihan
In the final sequence showing the girls descending the steps to the fountains, the picture has been flipped to maintain their movement from left to right. In actuality they are descending from right to left. See more »
Girls in white ... until womanhood spoils the color scheme?
If you've ever read the work of German symbolist writer Frank Wedekind then you may already have an idea about how difficult a text first feature writer-director Lucile Hadzihalilovic chose to adapt and execute. But execute she does for a good portion of the film until the rather obvious over-the-top conclusion that fails to answer many of the questions raised earlier.
That said, there is much to enjoy this film mainly due to its excellent cinemascope photography and the whole idea of an idyllic place where prepubescent girls are trained to be ballet dancers in order to enter the world as proper teenage women.
Since this is a symbolist writing, one can also entertain thoughts of purgatory (the characters are brought into being via a coffin), isolated same-sex societies (with one old man that is never explained), or some of the themes M. Night Shymalan explored in "The Village" with fear being used to keep a small population under control.
In any case, this film will provoke much discussion afterwards so bring your most knowledgeable cinema pals and dig in. Young girls in white outfits giggling and playing for two hours may not be everyone's simplification of the world at large, but in some ways it does sum up the dangers of segregated societies.
Not bad for a first film with extremely difficult material. A remarkable debut nonetheless.
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