Films: Love Like Poison

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Love Like Poison  {Un poison violent}

Love Like Poison
Un poison violent

France, 2010, 93 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming of Age, Family Issues, French/French Canadian, Romance, Teen
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: French English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Katell Quillévéré
Screenwriter: Katell Quillévéré, Mariette Désert
Principal Cast: Clara Augarde, Lio, Michel Galabru, Stefano Cassetti

In Love Like Poison, teenager Anna returns from boarding school to her Breton village to find her family in turmoil. Her mother is hysterical over the fact that Anna’s father has left her for his new girlfriend, a woman from the same village. Her paternal grandfather, a salty old dog, is dying in the family home—and the parish priest cannot seem to find the words to console Anna, since he has problems of his own.

Surrounded by religious hypocrisy, Anna, who is about to be confirmed as a Catholic, has yet to come to terms with this religious rite of passage. To further confuse her, Pierre, the pubescent altar boy, desperately wants to see her naked. Serenades and walks in the woods further fuel his desire—he just can’t get enough of her. On the brink of discovering her own sexuality, Anna does not know where to turn. Her grandfather, aroused by the sponge bath she gives him, encourages her to live her life with passion, music, and sex—lots of sex. Her mother, jealous of Anna’s emerging beauty, bitterly discourages her from relationships with men, even as she makes passes at the priest. And her father, although charming, still seems absent even when he returns home.

Love Like Poison marks a triumphant debut for French writer-director Katell Quillévéré. With a sensitive touch, she crafts moments of emotional drama enhancd by a soundtrack that meanders from Radiohead to English folksongs to a modern version of “Greensleeves”—punctuating Anna’s relationships with the people in her life and the surrounding French countryside.

Sponsored by LA Film & TV Office–French Embassy

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