email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

BERLINALE 2010 Panorama

Going South and back into the past

by 

Going South and back into the past

French filmmaker Sébastien Lifshitz’s third feature, Going South [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, continues the obsession with the evanescence of youth and the fluidity of sexuality that the director explored in his two previous features, Come Undone and Wild Side. The film is part of the Panorama section here in Berlin.

Though the pensive main protagonist, Sam, played by Yannick Renier, is in his late twenties and has had a troubled past, the young hitchhikers he’s takes with his on his trip from France to Spain are careless, good-looking youths that almost make Sam forget about the painful reason he is on the road in the first place.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Belgian actor Renier (Love Songs [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; Private Property [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) impresses with his stone-faced turn as the unreadable Sam, who only really comes to life when he’s reached his final destination in Spain, his mother (Nicole Garcia, in an equally impressive cameo). To counter the gloom of Sam’s character, Lifshitz fills his beat-up Ford with three younger free spirits. After her reigned-in turn as a religious aide in Lourdes, French starlet Léa Seydoux burns up the screen as the sexy Léa. Her gay brother Matthieu (Théo Frillet) and the drifter Jérémie (Pierre Perrier), who Léa picks up at a supermarket, complete the trio.

Sexy and sunny but with darker undercurrents and unresolved issues playing out in the background, Going South feels very much like a Lifshitz film. The actors’ work is key in setting the atmospheres and the quick mood shifts, with the cinematography closely following the characters.

The film premiered late last year in France, courtesy of Ad Vitam, which also produced it. It is sold in Berlin by Films Distribution, with several territories including the Benelux already closed.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.