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Clara cet été là (2004)

Clara and her best friend Zoé head to summer camp for a summer of adventure and self-discovery. Both virgins, Zoé views camp as her chance to lose her virginity. After becoming romantically... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Selma Brook ...
Zoé (as Stéphanie Sokolinski)
Salomé Stévenin ...
Léo Grandperret ...
Bastien Catenacci ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chafik Ahmad ...
Andre Castaing ...
Robert Catenacci ...
Bridget Faure ...
Georges Fauveau ...
Fanny Florido ...
Fanny Gontles ...
Jean Grandperret ...
Le Musicien
Gregoire Lemyze ...
Jean Luisi ...


Clara and her best friend Zoé head to summer camp for a summer of adventure and self-discovery. Both virgins, Zoé views camp as her chance to lose her virginity. After becoming romantically involved with Sébastien, a fellow camp member, Zoé learns that Sébastien cares far more about his friends than her and has sex with her just to impress them. After discovering this unsettling fact, Zoé turns to Clara for moral support and then, in a moment of confusion, professes her love for her. Clara, in the midst of recognizing her own sexuality, rejects Zoé's romantic advance but soon regrets the spurn, and begins to become attracted to the beautiful and out Sonia. Written by Anon

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Release Date:

21 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clara's Summer  »

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User Reviews

A sweet coming-of-age story
28 July 2007 | by (The New Intangible College) – See all my reviews

It's hard to conceive of any country but France producing a movie like this for television. It's another movie about a summer holiday by the sea, this time a week at camp for a mixed group of teenagers. Clara (Selma Brook) and her friend Zoë (Stéphanie Sokolinski) are convinced this will be the occasion to "do it" for the first time, but the boys at the camp are terrible jerks. Zoë is mercurial, hurt by inattention and boorishness and meanness from the boys and then thrilled by the attention of one in particular, Sébastian (Léo Grandperret), who's perhaps the best of the lot, though arrogant and sometimes mean. On one of the first nights Clara and Zoë kiss, and then, hurt by the casual cruelty of the boys, Zoë tells Clara she loves her, but Clara turns away. The next day Zoë is back with Sébastian, and Clara is alone. For some time the movie shows her drifting on the outside of the camp's summer games, looking soulful and a little sad. Then she meets the mysterious star of the camp, Sonia (Salomé Stévenin), who seems to treat her like a real person. To Clara's horror, the boys and girls of the camp laugh at her, mocking her as a lesbian, which Clara's convinced she's not. Zoë is still more cruel in a typically juvenile way, telling her new friends that Clara came on to her, whereas really it was the other way around, and tearing into Clara for being jealous of her happiness. At a party one night Clara wanders around the fringes, uncertain, and then follows Sonia, who looks at her intensely and asks her what she wants to say. Clara is flustered and backs away from the answer that's welling up inside her. Then she lets the guitar-player from the band have sex with her on the beach—she's got to do something. The next day she seems even more disconsolate, and Sonia takes her to bed. The love scenes are discreet and joyful—but Clara is not yet mature enough to handle it. She first invites Sonia to come with her to her sister's wedding, and then hesitates as she and Sonia and Zoë are about to get into her father's car. Sonia strides off, hurt. At the wedding Zoë surprisingly gives Clara some good advice, that is, to accept that she likes women. They rush away from the wedding party and get on the train to go apologize to Sonia and if possible bring her back. Clara imagines four or five scenarios of what might happen with Sonia at the wedding party, dancing and kissing while the parents look on in comic shock. They laugh, and the movie ends with the Clara/Sonia resolution still in the offing. As a treatment of the tentative nature of the sexuality of young women, this movie is open and gentle; it's not so gentle with the boys, who are almost all crude and exploitive and bullying. Sokolinski is small and brisk and very good at those sudden emotional reverses from despair to joy, and at smugness, too. Stévenin is also very good at seeming glamorous and aloof and assured, then vulnerable in the presence of a homophobic mob of kids, and also confident and warm as an experienced young woman testing and encouraging a shy girl to recognize her desires. As Clara, Brook is remarkable, seemingly unaware of her beauty, melancholy, pained by isolation and mockery, happy in friendship and happier still with her first real lover. The movie might seem a bit slow for some, but the frustration and hesitation and long stretches of loneliness are absolutely necessary to convey the sense of emotional urgency and longing that are central to such experiences.

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