Young Solitude (Premières solitudes)

Young Solitude (Premières solitudes)

Claire Simon
France
2018
100 minutes

Ticket holders are welcome to join us for a special French/Italia reception following the screening on May 2, 7:30pm at The Cinematheque.

Here is something we rarely have the opportunity to observe: thoughtful and revealing conversations between teens on the acute challenges in their emotional lives. At a high school in Ivry, on the outskirts of Paris, Claire Simon films pairs or groups of kids finding quiet spaces like the school roof, a schoolyard bench, or an empty hallway to talk about their families, fears, relationships, and dreams. Ten teens describe their experiences dealing with divorced parents, distant fathers, precarious housing situations, and growing up in an adoptive family. While the encounters themselves sometimes feel more staged than spontaneous, their conversations are so natural, exposed, and unrehearsed that any sense of performance falls away.

The promise and energy of these teenagers keeps the film upbeat despite its sometimes harrowing subject matter. It is rare in its commitment to take seriously the words and inner lives of teens. The result is an inspired admiration for the bravery of these young people who have agreed to share the secrets of their hearts and minds with the world. Young Solitude is a welcome addition to Claire Simon’s impressive and cinematically astute oeuvre. Like all of her films, it has a distinct sense of place and attention to detail. And, as always, the sense of trust she inspires in her subjects is extraordinary. -KR