Our Rating: ★★★½☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: Coming of age story of a teenage girl at a summer camp in France.
Alternate Titles: Clara cet été là
Year: 2002
Duration: 85 min
Language: France/French
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Patrick Grandperret
Writer: Nathalie Stragier
Starring: Selma Brook, Stéphanie Sokolinski, Salomé Stévenin, Léo Grandperret, Bastien Catenacci

Clara’s Summer Trailer

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Claras SummerFrench teens and best friends Zoé (Stéphanie Sokolinski) and Clara (Selma Brook) are off to summer camp. Zoé has decided that she’s going to sleep with Sébastien (Léo Grandperret), but when he turns out to be a jerk, she turns her romantic attentions to Clara. Clara isn’t sure that she feels about her friend in that way, but no matter, Zoé is back with Sébastien the next day, ditching her friend. Feeling isolated from the other campers, summer for Clara is turning out to be a real drag.

When she starts hanging out with Sonia (Salomé Stévenin), the other outsider camper who is also bisexual, things only get worse. Now they’re all making fun of her for being a lesbian, and she finds herself unable to stand up for Sonia against the bullies. She tries sleeping with one of the male counselors to prove her heterosexuality, but that’s just an unpleasant experience.

Finally Clara makes love with Sonia, perhaps in love, but still confused. Luckily her friend Zoé comes back to be there for her, letting Clara know that it’s ok to like girls, regardless of the bullies.

Clara’s experience seems very normal for teenagers figuring out their sexuality and dealing with peer pressure and uncertainty. Nothing is black and white, but in the end, Clara is a person more in touch with herself and her feelings and desires.

It is a coming of age story I would recommend for younger women, but the teenage boys were a little too obnoxious for me throughout the film. (AB)