Jeune Femme - Review
by Sofia Ferrara
Jeune Femme is a film that explores femininity, love, disappointment, pregnancy, motherhood, family, obsession, identity crisis, loneliness – at least, this is what it communicated to me. Surely, the busy crowd in the cinema that day (three adventurous folk) would tell a different story.
Director Léonor Serraille does not allow her audience to sit back and passively swallow the images on screen, but rather encourages them to fill in the gaps of the narrative with their own experience.
She urges the viewers to contribute to the story, to actively participate, almost as characters themselves. Protagonist Paula Simonian is a quirky, unconventional, slightly neurotic figure: not somebody everyone aspires to become, and a rather difficult character to empathise with. Yet by the end of the film she managed to sneak so deep into me that her choices felt like my own – I spent the second part of the film living through Paula’s body and looking at Paris out of the windows of her eyes. The level of empathy that Serraille is able to arouse allows for her character to become a second skin for the viewer, guiding the spectator’s body through the story – something that makes Jeune Femme almost a sensorial, physical experience.