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Last Summer

L’été Dernier

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A lawyer who specializes in representing rape victims, Anne (Léa Drucker) maintains a typically bourgeois existence with her wealthy businessman husband and their two daughters. However, when her surly, 17-year-old stepson Théo (Samuel Kircher) moves in with the family, he and Anne begin a taboo romance that threatens to upset the balance of her life. Having betrayed both her family and her principles, Anne finds herself in a rare position of weakness in direct contradiction to her morals.

Last Summer is Catherine Breillat’s triumphant return to the festival circuit after a decade-long absence—and she does not disappoint. Although the film is nominally a remake of the 2019 Danish drama Queen of Hearts, the French provocateur asserts her directorial personality from frame one. Never one to shy away from discomfiting material, Breillat explores every facet of the thorny power dynamics between Anne and Théo, denying the viewer any clean lines of identification. In Last Summer, as in the rest of Breillat’s boundary-pushing oeuvre, the real transgression lies in the filmmaker’s refusal to look away.

Breillat’s sharp writing and even sharper camera make for a cinematic challenge, a cinematic gem.
Autostraddle

Director
Cast

Léa Drucker, Samuel Kircher, Olivier Rabourdin, Clotilde Courau, Angela Chen, Serena Hu

Credits
Country of Origin

France

Year

2023

Series

Special Presentations

Language

In French with English subtitles

Film Contact
Content Warning

Incest

18+
104 min
Action & Suspense Drama Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Credits

Executive Producer

René Ezra, Caroline Blanco, Clifford Werber

Producer

Saïd Ben Saïd

Screenwriter

Catherine Breillat, Pascal Bonitzer

Cinematography

Jeanne Lapoirie

Editor

François Quiqueré Lma

Production Design

Sébastien Danos

Director

Catherine Breillat headshot

Catherine Breillat

Dubbed “the bad girl intellectual of French cinema” by Amy Taubin of the Village Voice, writer-director Catherine Breillat seemingly has courted controversy since her long and prolific career began. While still in her teens she published her first novel, the erotic L’Homme facile, which was not sold to anyone in France under 18 years of age. Breillat’s film acting debut was in 1973’s groundbreaking Last Tango in Paris. Her own feature directorial debut, based on one of her novels, Une Vraie jeune fille, was originally shot in 1975 but through a combination of the bankruptcy of her producers and its shocking content that caused it to be banned, the film did not receive a release for 25 years.

Filmography: A Real Young Girl (1976); 36 Fillette (1988); Romance (1999); Fat Girl (2001); The Last Mistress (2007)

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