french films > Wild Side

Wild Side

Wild Side

cast: Stéphanie Michelini, Yasmine Belmadi, Edouard Nikitine, and Josiane Stoléru

year: 2004

colour: no

certificate: 18

director: Sebastien Lifshitz

runtime: 57

French drama about a transsexual prostitute returning home to rural Normandy to tend to her terminally ill mother. Sébastien Lifshitz's portrait of love on the edge of society Sébastien Lifshitz's third feature film involves rejecting mainstream society and living on the fringe, as far away from the norm as possible. His protagonist, Stéphanie (Michelini), is a pre-op transsexual prostitute who works the streets of Paris and is in a love-triangle with a Russian illegal immigrant (Nikitine) and a young French Arab (Belmadi). So far, so offbeat. A time for reflection comes for Stéphanie when she travels to Normandy to look after her seriously ill mother (Stoléru) and has to confront the memories of her childhood as a boy, with poignant recollections from her mother of the day her son came home a mademoiselle. Sharing the trip with her two lovers, their story is slowly (often too much so) woven together from scraps of recollection intermingled with a portrait of their current inner lives as Lifshitz gently brings his complex characters into relief. Verdict Very introspective and full of sex, Wild Side is designed to hit all the right European arthouse buttons.


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