Lightning: a striking dreamlike coming of age [critique]

From flamboyant Swiss landscapes, a moving naturalist picture emerges on the quest for identity of a young woman, whose desires are in disorder.

Summer 85, summer tale, Call me by your name : it is not uncommon for the summer period to be that of the budding of the most intense carnal idylls, and Lightning is now part of this list. 1900, a scorching sun hits the mountain ranges of a Swiss valley where only deafening silence reigns. Elisabeth is on the verge of shaking this tranquility: sent to the convent at 12, she is forced to return five years later to the family farm in order to assume her new role as eldest when her big sister Innocente, qualified child of the devil throughout the village, dies mysteriously. While trying to uncover the truth, Elisabeth befriends three young men and a sexual fervor takes control of her body. And what could be louder than awakening female desire?

Despite the inquisitive looks, a moving friendship develops within the quartet. This results in scenes of extreme sensuality where bodies satisfy their curiosity and tame each other with tenderness. Without ever falling into a banal representation of the first emotions, Lightning addresses in a sensory and modest way the enjoyment as much emotional as sexual of a young woman in construction. In a wild dance, director Carmen Jaquier whirls around her actress (Lilith Grasmug, of rare expressiveness) and gives us a coming of age dreamlike from which it is impossible to look away. Striking.

Of Carmen Jaquier. With Lilith Grasmug, Mermoz Melchior, François Revaclier… Duration 1h32. Released May 15, 2024


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