SEE THE SEA (1997) [Feature]

France (MIFF 1998 , International Panorama)
Director: François Ozon

See the Sea, the most ambitious film in a recent trilogy of shorts and featurettes by prolific French director François Ozon, portrays the clash between the worlds of two women. Alone with her baby on the Ile d'Yeu, Sasha, a young British mother, agrees to let dour backpacker Tatiana pitch a tent on her property. Sasha's solitude prompts her to invite Tatiana for dinner despite the latter's dark character. Inexorably Tatiana makes her strange presence felt as she becomes closer to both mother and baby, the consequences of which will not pleasant...

Ozon's gift is for communicating much that is left unspoken. He gradually reveals, with ample assistant from a first rate cast, that the two women share a reciprocal envy that remains largely unspoken. Tatiana covets Sasha's settled status, security and parenthood. Conversely, Sasha yearns for freedom and independence symbolised by the traveller and is fascinated by Tatiana's predatory attitude. A modestly staged but narratively complex film that is guaranteed to linger in the memory of viewers.

"François Ozon manipulates audience expectations with considerable authority, creating a complex psychological minefield from what is basically a simple two-hander. The location's unpopulated beaches, woods and hills serve to hint at both beauty and menace, and the uneasy tone is deftly echoed in the performances of both Hails and de Van." - David Rooney, Variety

François Ozon was born in 1967 and studied film and direction at FEMIS. He has been turning out films practically annually since graduation, focussing on recurring themes such as transgression and sexuality.

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