Directed by André Téchiné, “Being 17” stars Sandrine Kiberlain, Kacey Mottet Klein and Corentin Fila (son of Congolese filmmaker, David-Pierre Fila) in a drama that follows the pampered teenage son of a soldier and a doctor who lives with his mother in Army barracks in the south of France while his father is on a military mission in the Central African Republic. Damien shows a new, defiant side of himself in high school in order to stave off the bullies who taunt him. When he meets Tom, the adopted son of local farmers, the hatred between the two boys is immediate and visceral. But when Tom’s mother is forced to go to the hospital, Damien’s mother offers to take Tom into their home for a short while, as the tension between the two boys becomes more and more palpable.
Téchiné directs from a script he co-wrote with Céline Sciamma (whose name you’ll recognize as the director of last year’s contentious sensation, “Girlhood,” which was covered extensively on this blog).
Marc Missonier and Olivier Delbosc of Fidelitie Films produced the France 2 Cinema and Wild Bunch co-production.
The film premiered at Berlin this year, and has been picked up for USA release by Strand Releasing, who have set an October 7, 2016 limited theatrical opening.
Corentin Fila makes his film acting debut with “Being 17,” and has received a lot of praise for his performance; the film was well-reviewed after its Berlin premiere, with Variety calling it Téchiné’s “most youthful film yet… a tale of burgeoning gay romance co-written by Celine Sciamma.” The Hollywood Reporter called it a “quiet stunner [that] represents a return to peak form for Téchiné,” branding Fila a talent to watch. So expect to hear more from this young actor – the son of a Congolese filmmaker with an extensive resume – in the future.
Strand has released an English-subtitled trailer for “Being 17” which follows below: