Anaïs (Anaïs Reboux) is a shy twelve year old with something of an eating problem. Her sister Elena (Roxane Mesquida) is fifteen, beautiful and looking for love. While on holiday at the seaside with their parents, the girls meet Fernando (Libero dr Rienzo), an older Italian student, also on holidays. He falls for Elena (and vice versa), but he’s already had many sexual conquests and wants to take things with Elena faster than she really cares to. Meanwhile, Anaïs who loves and hates her sister equally, begins to withdraw into herself, eating even more. Elena desperately wants Fernando’s love; but what is she prepared to do to get it?
 

4.5
A provocative and shocking drama about sibling rivalry, family discord and relationships.

15-year-old Elena (Roxane Mesquida) and her 12-year-old sister, Anais (Anais Reboux) are holidaying with their parents. The squabbling siblings share a room where they talk at night about boys and sex. Anais is uncomfortably aware that her size makes her, potentially, less attractive than her older sister. Elena meets an Italian student, Fernando (Libero de Rienzo), several years older than she is, and invites him to visit her in her bedroom.

Catherine Breillat's interest in female sexuality has been apparent from her very first film, and, after the controversial Romance last year, A Ma Soeur returns to the themes of 36 Fillette, which she made in 1988 – the delicate subject of the first sexual experience of a young woman. It is, of course, a controversial theme, because Breillat isn't interested in the gross-out, slapstick approach to sex found in American teen comedies; her aim is to depict realistically, and in considerable detail, the events that lead to Elena's willing loss of virginity, and at the same time to explore the most intimate feelings of her protagonists. She elicits painfully natural performances from the two girls here, especially in the long central seduction sequence. When she hits the audience with a shocking conclusion, the result is as powerful as it is arbitrary. It's a film for seriously-minded adult audiences, and the French title, For My Sister, is infinitely better than the silly English title, Fat Girl.

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Details

R18+
1 hour 26 min

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