“Such a summer”: oh yes, again!

“Such a summer”: oh yes, again!

A man – in this case Denis Côté – who dares to make a film about female sexuality? Yes, and it is not only conceivable but desirable, and it has succeeded perfectly.

What would a feature film by Denis Côté be without a bit of absurdity and a lack of realism? During a “therapeutic” retreat of 26 days – no more and no less and we will never know why 26 – three women will talk about their sexuality with Octavia (Anne Ratte-Polle) and Samir (Samir Guesmi) respectively, a psychologist and social worker.

This intentionally unrealistic setting leads to a—this time raw—examination of her sexual journeys. Léonie (Larissa Corriveau), with a difficult past, tells about her “gangbangs” in a great sequence or tries Shibari, the art of Japanese “bondage”. Eugénie (Laure Giappiconi) sends all the usual male fantasies back to a truck driver by appropriating them, while Geisha (Aude Mathieu) performs oral sex on any football players she finds on a field.

But don’t think for a moment about watching porn made up under the deceptive pretense of the author’s film. Denis Côté is not a voyeur, just as little as he considers viewers to be one. Filmed with much grace, restraint and delicacy – the journalist’s past comes to light in several very “cerebral” and graphic scenes, especially those of masturbation – A Summer Like This aims to be a confrontation with female sexuality. Without modesty, but without showmanship. Without morals, but without exaggeration.

“Such a summer” is rich. Rich in questions (without answers), rich in curiosity, in discoveries of the other, of the other. And rich in what the Americans call “female empowerment”, i.e. this power that women are given to be themselves, to be human, to have a sexuality and to live it. Be free… finally.