Emma wants to be a singer. Or it a director? No, it’s definitely an actress!

Oh, how a teenager’s wants and hopes change while they’re growing up!

Sébastien Lifshitz documented Emma and her best friend Anais’s smorgasborg of hormones and experiences for 5 years, in Adolescentes. Since one might have at first seemed to be mature and well brought up while the other was a bit of a loose cannon with a messy family situation, it is interesting to see their evolution into something else entirely.

The girls are quite different, but they also share very similar conflicts with their parents. Weak-willed absentee fathers and anxious, controlling mothers force the girls to often take on the parental role. Lifshitz has captured so much tension between what Moms want and what Daughters want. It’s not that the offspring don’t care about their parents’ desires. It’s that they don’t want the things their parents think would suit them. Like an ugly pink sweater for a girl who clearly likes dark casualwear.

The reality of modern society is that the kids are often more mature than the parents. These are not just children. They are self aware small adults. The events unfold around the time of terrorist acts in France, and it’s remarkable to see how emotionally involved Anais, Emma and the majority of their classmates are. Lifshitz has dealt with the subject matter in a delicate but direct way, capturing both innocence and maturity throughout.

Growing up in these times is not only about skateboards, first love and math. It is also about the effects of sociopolitical stress.


RIDM Screening:

November 23rd, 2019. 6 PM SGWU – Cinematheque Quebecoise

November 24th, 2019. 8 PM Cinema Quartier Latin