Film Info
Section:New Directors
Premiere Status:France
Year of Prod:2012
Running Time:75
Original Language:French
Awards:New Directors Prize Contender
dir:Justine Malle
prod:Justine Malle
Rémi Pradinas
scr:Justine Malle
Cécile Vargaftig
cam:Nicolas Pernot
editor:Olivier Ferrari
mus:Dakota Suite
cast:Esther Garrel
Didier Bezace
Émile Bertherat
Lucia Sanchez
source:Pyramide International
5 rue du Chevalier de Saint-George
The late, great Louis Malle explored parent-child relationships with a generosity and sensitivity that never slipped into sentimentality. His middle daughter, Justine, gives evidence that she inherited the same clear-eyed knack in her semi-autobiographical debut feature. A self-effacing study of an inexperienced college student navigating her way through unfamiliar emotional terrain, Youth marks a deeply personal collaboration between the offspring of French film giants. Juliette, played by the open-faced yet curiously enigmatic Esther Garrel (daughter of director Philippe and sister of actor Louis), like many a teenager in no hurry to attain adulthood, resists the pressure of parental and societal expectations. On a date with a classmate—part attraction, part distraction—she confides, “I’ve been in love three times. Every time it’s been horrible.” The new couple forges a connection from awkwardness and sexual attraction, then Juliette is walloped by a thunderbolt: Her filmmaker father has a terminal degenerative disease. Shuttling between Paris and the country, where Papa (Didier Bezace) resides with his current partner and small daughter, Juliette grapples with the confounding mystery that something has ignited within her just as her father’s life force is waning.Youth is a nuanced portrait of identity coming into focus, and a young woman willfully emerging from the shadow of a strong father.
-Michael Fox
Contemporary French Cinema Sponsors

Co-presenter: Bay Area Women in Film & Media, Arts & Ideas at the Jewish
Community Center San Francisco

Additional Information

Justine Malle

Justine Malle, the daughter of director Louis Malle and actress Alexandra Stewart, directed the documentary shorts Carnets de Shanghai and Light in April and the narrative shorts Cet été la and Surpris par le froid (inspired by Johnny Guitar) before embarking on Youth. “My father died [in 1995] of a degenerative disease when I was 20,” she has said. “He was sick for a year. During that year, I only saw him a few times, occupied as I was by my studies and by my passion for a young man who was later to became my husband. This rather disturbing coincidence between sickness and decay on one hand and the burning revelations of love and desire on the other is the subject of my film.”