A film by Valérie Massadian
2017, 128 minutes
No. 164

In a delicate, even generous manner, Valérie Massadian’s new film begins as a story of two young lovers’ life on the fringes before shifting towards one of recent cinema’s finest depictions of motherhood. 

Milla and Leo live clandestinely, their meager furnishings and sustenance countered by a love for which there is neither a logic nor substitute. But such an existence will only last until forces of nature take hold. Where is there to go in its wake? 

Milla considers every dimension of love, loyalty, and grief through a poetic, startling vision that recalls the likes of Barbara Loden and Chantal Akerman while remaining wholly original.

Winner, Special Jury Award, Locarno Festival
Official Selection, DocLisboa
Official Selection, AFI Fest

"Critic's Pick! Stunning. A major achievement, a film that is at once as delicate as it is strong, a fitting testament to motherhood, to survival." — Teo Bugbee, The New York Times

"Steely, sinewy, divergent, reactive, propulsive, frequently beautiful and contemplative. Pulsing with a life force whose energy oscillates between Fréhel and the Violent Femmes, Massadian's film accrues in weight and meaning by way of intuition, tension, contradiction, and counter-rhythm." — Andréa Picard, Cinema Scope

"Every framed shot in the film is masterful, vital and rich in significance, giving the film both a strength and unexpected power. Rich in extraordinary narrative talent and an elegant direction of actors. A film that transforms the harshness of youth into something sublime." — Muriel Del Don, Cineuropa

"A quietly moving and unassumingly profound film about growing up, young motherhood, and life’s chance occurrences. The film’s bifurcated structure and Massadian’s casually radical approach to time yield a strikingly tangible sense of accumulated experience, forming a beautifully symmetrical whole." 
— Jordan Cronk, Film Comment

"The film’s focus can’t even be described as quotidian, because its sequences come from the moments that seem even smaller than that. I don’t think there’s a word in the English language for it. Jonckeere imbues the choreography of the everyday with a staggering level of emotion." — Dan Schindel, The Film Stage