In the fall of 1963, Anne is becoming a teenager. She lives in Paris with her mother and her older sister, Frédérique. They're just back from summer at the beach with their father. School ...
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In 1942 in occupied France, a Jewish refugee marries a soldier to escape deportation to Germany. Meanwhile a wealthy art student loses her first husband to a stray Resistance bullet; at the... See full summary »
In the fall of 1963, Anne is becoming a teenager. She lives in Paris with her mother and her older sister, Frédérique. They're just back from summer at the beach with their father. School starts. For Frédérique it's the year of her first serious love, her first foray into politics (the Algerian question and "ban the bomb"), her first kiss from an older man, her first friend who runs away, and her first loss of friendship over values. For Anne, who watches her sister closely, it's a year of her first period and of learning to talk to boys, dealing with unfair teachers, and sorting things out with mom after getting in trouble.Written by
The film's original French title, "Diabolo menthe," translates as "Devil Mint." The English-language title, "Peppermint Soda," refers to a carbonated beverage, a "non-potent potable," made using peppermint; this is a favorite beverage of the two sisters who are the film's central characters. See more »
Heart warming and true to life and the young female experience (at that time)
What appears at first to be the French female answer - in director and in main cast - to the 400 Blows (and to an extent too Small Change, which came out the year before this) - ends up having deeper levels if only because a) there are two sisters here, and the structure of this definitely and umabashedly episodic film is split by the younger one in the first half and then more the older in the second (they're only age different by two years but, one thing this filmmaker knows well and wisely, when you're young those two years matter a great deal), and b) it's more politcal and sociolgically a buzz.
If nothing else there are moments the director stops - amid the many, many of lifes little moments - for a side character to have a monologue or reveal something (ie the girl detailing a massacre she witnessed) that keep it humming with drama amid the lightness and comedy. It's a movie with men who seem threatening and welcoming, perversity is around the corner, but innocence is maintaned despite everything.
It's a playful, dark, sad, delightful, startling, and full of wisdom. The girl actresses are natural and convincing, even when they have to cry or act besotten or whathaveyou. The drawback overall is it's all too long. But hey, better to have too much than too little.
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