FFF18 Ava27th February, 2018
Nominated for the Critics’ Week Grand Prize at the 2017
Cannes Film Festival, Ava is the self-assured, life-affirming
directorial debut from screenwriter Léa Mysius (co-writer
of Ismaël’s Ghosts in this year’s Festival), featuring a ‘tourde-
force’ performance from newcomer Noée Abita in the
Thirteen-year-old Ava is on a summer holiday in the Medoc
region when she learns a degenerative condition that
is turning her blind has accelerated. Rather than wallow
in her imminent disability, Ava chooses to embrace her
remaining senses and explore her burgeoning sensuality, as
encouraged by her mother (Laure Calamy). An encounter
with a young troublemaker, Juan (Juan Cano), sends Ava on
a series of adventures she would never have dared to do
before her prognosis.
Shot on 35mm film to accentuate a saturated colour palette
of warm, golden tones, Ava’s blindness is also a metaphor
for contemporary French society’s growing tendency to
embrace extremism, as well as increasing social distress.
This is an adroit meditation on politics, sensuality and the
‘joie de vivre’ of youth; a refreshing chronicle of a young
girl’s coming of age.