The Summer of Sangaïlé, 2015
The Summer of Sangaïlé is the story of a young woman named Sangaïlé who is obsessed with stunt planes and self-harms because of her mother’s judgement of her, and during her family holiday in their summer villa, meets another girl called Auste, who is instantly drawn to Sangaïlé. They form a strong bond and eventually fall in love.
The film is utterly beautiful. It looks amazing, with soft lights and beautiful sceneries, and the set design is great, especially in Auste’s bedroom. The cinematography is stunning, really simple but artistic. But what is really gripping about this film is the story itself. It’s more a character study than anything, a coming-of-age story about overcoming fears, accepting who you are, and learning to fall in love. It’s a beautiful lesbian love story (though there might be some indication that Sangaïlé might be bi?) and I think even more compelling than Blue if the Warmest Color. At first the film certainly feels a bit like Jeune et Jolie, because the main character is very quiet and keeps to herself, and because they are on their summer holidays, but soon we see that Sangaïlé is much more open to befriending people, and we see her grow in front of our eyes through her relationship with Auste.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous film, which I believe will find its way to the lists of must-see LGBT films, because its story is so true and honest, and the characters so sweet and well-developed. There are no villains, only humans, which makes the story even more real. Could not recommend it more.
review by Mariana Duarte