Cocoon @ Festival du Nouveau Cinema

Times they are a changing. More and more films are about women/girls. More and more women are directing and producing films. Representation is becoming more of a reality. This is important because it is vital to see yourself on screen. Also makes you feel less alone when you see characters in films go through what you might have.

Another entry into this growing category comes from German director Leonie Krippendorff. It is her second film and is part of this year’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema for its Quebec premiere.

It is a long, hot summer in Germany and young people are enjoying it. Nora (Lena Urzendowsky – What Might Have Been), who is 14-years-old, spends most of her time with her older sister Jule (Lena Klenke – The Silent Revolution) and her best friend, Aylin (Eline Vildanova). They spend most of their time at the pool or with the group of boys who surround the two older girls. Nora, being younger and rather shy in nature, takes a backseat to much of what is going on.

Then Nora begins to come into her own after she meets a girl who is different from the rest. Romy (Jella Haase – Kidnapping Stella), who is also older than Nora, doesn’t try to fit in with the cool kids and that is what catches Nora’s eye. The interest soon becomes of the romantic variety and the young teen embarks on discovering herself while in the midst of her first love.

Young people on the verge of adulthood. A subject which has been represented time and time again in film. There is a certain sense of eye rolling when a film comes your way with the coming of age tag attached to it. A rare few draw you in despite the weariness over the subject because they take a unique look at that time all our lives. Krippendorff’s film is refreshing because it has a totally authentic feel to it. Nothing crazy. Does not feature young people who are impossibly smart or world-wise. Just real.

Much of the applause has to go to the young actresses. They all do a great job instilling the right amount of youth and naivete into their characters. Loads happen over the course of the summer to Nora, but it never feels too much or that it is beyond the young actress who takes her on.

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