Sept Ans

Director: Jean-Pascal Hattu

2006. France. 85mins

First-time feature filmmaker Jean- Pascal Hattu tackles an unusual love triangle between a woman, her incarcerated husband and a prison guard. When Maite (Valerie Donzelli) tries to visit her swaggering Mediterranean mate, Vincent (Bruno Todeschini) in jail, complications ensue and she finds herself in conversation with a meek, hesitant prison guard Jean (Cyril Troley). Meanwhile, she becomes increasingly drawn to a young boy she babysits (Pablo De La Torre), and this turns her thoughts to family. At first put off by Jean’s advances, she eventually enjoys the secret thrill of being with him. But as their relationship becomes intimate, strange things begin to happen. Jean starts recording elements of their encounters—her scent, the sounds of her orgasms. We learn that he is collecting for the benefit of Vincent, for it is he who has somehow set the affair in motion. As the film progresses, it becomes increasingly unclear who is controlling whom. The camera is an observer, unhurried and often still, in this mature and thoughtful debut.

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