© Tiberius Film/24 Bilder

Liebe auf den ersten Schlag (Love at First Fight, Les Combattants)
France 2014

Opening 2 Jul 2015

Directed by: Thomas Cailley
Writing credits: Thomas Cailley, Claude Le Pape
Principal actors: Adèle Haenel, Kévin Azaïs, Antoine Laurent, Brigitte Roüan, William Lebghil

Eighteen-year-old Arnaud and his brother Manu run the family carpentry business after the death of their father. One of their first jobs is to manufacture an appropriate coffin for their father’s funeral. They live in a small town in the south of France on the Atlantic coast, where a group of army recruits have set up base in order to recruit prospective soldiers of both sexes for a summer training camp. Arnaud’s friends sign him up, perhaps as a joke, since he is normally laidback, relaxed, not your normal candidate for hard work. Madeleine, on the other hand, has been practicing survival training on her own for a long time. From a rich family in a big house, she is convinced that the end of the world is near and only the physically strong will survive. Both young people enter the military training camp with different degrees of expectation and success. In the end they run away together and, lost in a huge forest, are suddenly faced with serious survival challenges.

This is being billed as a teenager comedy. It showed at the 2014 Cannes film festival where it won best actress, best new actor and best first film. Adèle Haenel was a European Shooting Star in 2012. This was Kévin Azais’ first long-feature film. Director Thomas Cailley said that it shows how two young people mature in each other’s company as they face the world’s problems. Cailley actually grew up in the area shown and the photography of the scenery is excellent. (Becky Tan)

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