Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"The technical work is very good but more than matched only by the quality of the acting." | Photo: Fantasia Film Festival

When it comes to managing risk, there's a difference between other kinds of sexual acts and penetration. Pregnancy and disease are the usual big concerns, but for teenager Aurore (Manon Valentin) and her partners, there's another. Exploring the body of her boyfriend (Lorenzo Lefèbvre), Aurore acts on instinct, and it's only after it has happened that he realises and stops her. Her fingers have penetrated his chest.

When she draws them out, there's no blood; no holes remain. But he felt them there, he says. It was too weird to try again, he tells a friend, but the friend says that he'd be up for trying. Aurore, however, is disturbed by what happened. She's not sure that she ever wants to risk it. In the shower, she tries doing it to her own body, exploring the different sensations it triggers in different places. She also wonders about its potential for destruction.

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Mael Le Mée's short, which was named Best Short Film at Fantasia 2018, recalls David Robert Mitchell's It Follows in its depiction of teenage lust overcoming good sense, but it also suggests that their sexual experimentation is part of the same instinct to learn about the world as that which drives humans to invent and discover. In the process, Aurore and her boyfriend discover one another as people, gradually shedding the natural self-centredness of childhood and making the allowances necessary to forge a real connection.

Although this is less messy than most body horror films, scenes in which Aurore uses her unusual ability may seriously disturb some viewers. The technical work is very good but more than matched only by the quality of the acting. Both visually and metaphorically, this is a film that defies initial appearances.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2018
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A teenager discovers that she can put her fingers in places where they shouldn't go.

Director: Mael Le Mée

Writer: Mael Le Mée

Starring: Manon Valentin, Lorenzo Lefèbvre, Nathan Bensoussan, Fiorella Campanella

Year: 2018

Runtime: 17 minutes

Country: France


Fantasia 2018

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