Growing up is hard to do

Cinéma du Parc’s new programme We Are Young! addresses the many trials associated with the evolution to adulthood, through coming of age films.

I Killed My Mother

Being a teenager isn’t exactly fun. You linger in this liminal space between childhood and adulthood, essentially grinding through life until you finally sort out where you belong. It’s the time for experimentation and exploration — a rite of passage. Although we each encounter these vital years, the experience can be vastly different for each person.

Cinéma du Parc’s new programme We Are Young!: When Films Speak About Youth screens seven films from different countries that show the unique experiences of several teens but also the universal elements associated with finding our place in the world.

Water Lilies (France, 2007), Céline Sciamma’s directorial debut, follows Marie (Pauline Acquart), Anne (Louise Blachère) and Floriane (Adèle Haenel) over one summer as they each encounter their own sexual awakening, exploring ideas of female friendship and sexuality.

Flowers of Evil (France, 2010) is David Dusa’s film about Gecko (Rachid Youcef), who meets Iranian Anahita (Alice Belaïdi) living in exile in Paris. The two fall in love, but Anahita continues to be troubled by the turmoil in her home country following the June 2009 election.

Tilva Rosh (Serbia, 2010), directed by Nikola Lezaic follows skater best pals Toda (Marko Todorovic) and Stefan (Stefan Djordjevic), who spend their summer after high school creating Jackass-esque videos and silently fighting for the attention of Dunja (Dunja Kovacevic).

I Killed My Mother (Quebec, 2009), is Xavier Dolan’s directorial debut, about the complex relationship between a mother and son. It follows Hubert Minel (Dolan) coming to terms with his own homosexuality and his various feelings towards his mother.

Set Me Free (Quebec, 1999), directed by Léa Pool, follows Hanna (Karine Vanasse) living in Quebec in 1963. She is obsessed with Anna Karina in Goddard’s It’s My Life. At 13 years old, she is struggling with her own sexuality, trying to develop a special bond with her teacher and admiring her sensual friend Laura.

Sweet Sixteen (United Kingdom, 2002) is Ken Loach’s realistic drama about Liam (Martin Compston), a Scottish teenager trying to sort out a life for him and his mother, once she gets out of prison. His attempts to get money for a house are riddled with crime and complications.

Tomboy (France, 2011), is another Céline Sciamma film, this time discussing the significance of gender identity. Laure (Zoé Héran) moves to a new neighbourhood with her family and introduces herself as Mickäel. The film explores the complexity of being a transgendered youth.■

We Are Young! When Films Speak About Youth, starts Friday. Cinéma du Parc (3575 Parc), June 21–27

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