14-year-old Violette's family move to a suburban area classified as a difficult zone by the government. Bullied, she seeks 16-year-old Sabine's help, is drawn into her gang, and is soon swept up into physical violence.
A small working-class town along the Loire river. Like his father and grandfather before him, 19 years old Pavel works at Martinsson, the local industry. He spends his spare time with Anja,... See full summary »
Maxime returns to live with his father in a small town in Burgundy (Tonnerre). He meets the young and pretty journalist Melodie and finds love when he least expects it. However with ... See full summary »
Two elderly women bear the consequences of a crime involving their respective grandsons. One is the victim, the other is the suspect. Both weak and poor, they laboriously solicit money in ... See full summary »
Clotilde and Aude are eighteen and have always been best friends. Their relationship is strong and interdependent, as teenage friendships can be. They are finishing school and have to ... See full summary »
At 14, Diane is an enigmatic teenager and a loner. She is busy bringing up her little brother, Marc, and has an intense relationship with her father, Christian. The appearance of Julia, a ... See full summary »
A documentary about danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, winner of the Best Director award at the Cannes Festival in 2011 for Drive. From his childhood to the shooting of his next Movie, ... See full summary »
Argentina, in the middle fifties. Sulamit is the daughter of German-Jewish refugees. Friedrich is the son of German-Nazis refugees. Both children are closely friends as times goes by ... See full summary »
Slightly insightful, but not wholly convincing or worthwhile
17 Girls (2011)
Lots of mid-teen girl stuff on French beaches. And yet supposedly a social issue movie about a rash of intentional pregnancies at a high school. There are scenes between the girls that pry into contemporary youth culture but only get the lid off. This is a sensational idea with the depth of a single gasp.
Even stranger, once you get into it, is how the movie makers, the writer/director pair Delphine and Muriel Coulin (both did both), took an American high school news story and adapted it to this small industrial coastal city in France. It doesn't right true. The utter rebellion of the kids to reason, their various trajectories around peer pressure and media hype, and the general glibness of some of the school reactions all seem a bit callous, and without nuance.
There is an attempt at depth (and some of the best acting) though the main character, Camille, played by Louise Grinberg. Here the need for such rebellion seems to have roots in her psyche and her family situation. How this effect "spreads" and becomes an easy viral sense of irresponsibility is not given much thought, however. There are three or four other girls who are given some complexity, but not enough to quite explain their motiviations.
Maybe the project was doomed when the writers faced the central problemthis is both about a large effect (over a dozen girls, en masse) and an individual problem (one by one). How to do both? Especially when it happens pretty much simultaneously.
There is a low budget documentary on the real deal"The Gloucester 18" which is apparently (from their press kit) a kind of public service piece against teen pregnancy and there is a TV series in Spanish called "El Pacto" that supposedly expands on the sensational aspects of the story. I'm not sure any of it is worth the trouble more than just reading a new article about the phenomenon. The movie here is curious at first, slow to get going, and has a few interesting moments, but it hardly holds up over an hour and a half.
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