Friday, September 13, 2013

THE ADOLESCENT (1979): A Fearless French Nymphet's Unrequited Love

Here's JHailey's IMDb plot summary for The Adolescent (1979) [French: L'adolescente]:

The summer of 1939. Marie, at 13, goes with her parents to visit her grandmother in a small town near Avignon. Although rumors of war reach the countryside, it's an idyllic place. Marie's parents are constantly making love. Surrounded by sexual frankness, Marie fancies herself a woman and develops a crush on Alexander, the town's [...] Jewish doctor. She's despondent when he treats her as if she were a child [...]

Like is mentioned in the plot summary, in The Adolescent (1979), after 13-year-old Marie and her parents visit her grandmother in rural France, she falls in love with Alexander, the town's 30-year-old physician, but despite the temptation, Marie's love is unrequited.

13-year-old Marie: "I love you."
30-year-old Alexander: "You're just a little girl."
Marie: "I'm grown up! You're scared. I'm not scared."

The Adolescent (1979) is similar to Beau-père (1981), but in Beau-père, Rémi (Patrick Dewaere), a 30-year-old pianist, has an affair with Marion (Ariel Besse), his 14-year-old orphaned stepdaughter after she pleads and convinces him that she's,"[...] a fourteen-year-old woman in perfect working order [...]" 

Interestingly, Marie's and Marion's claims of womanhood would have been considered true prior to the The Renaissance and the invention of the printing press when there was no distinction between children and adults. And even up until the Great Depression, many children worked along side adults and weren't sequestered until they matured. 

 The Adolescent (1979) (1979) [French: L'adolescente] 
Video Excerpt

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