Siebzehn – Seventeen


Set in rural Austria, in the final hot humid weeks before school breaks up for summer, Paula is very attracted to her classmate Charlotte, who is together with Michael. Meanwhile self-indulgent Lilly constantly provokes Paula to overstep the bounds.

Watch The Trailer

So far we were able to find this link to watch on demand, but we’re not sure if English subtitles are available.

Paula is in love with her classmate Charlotte. Her best friend Katherin says Charlotte’s feelings are mutual. But every time Paula tries to make a move, Charlotte’s studious older boyfriend Michael becomes an obstacle. When Lilli, the self-indulgent and reckless class rebel shows an interest in her instead Paula can’t help but be swept up by her fun-filled, sexually promiscuous lifestyle. But it comes at the cost of alienating close friends and perhaps losing her one chance to be with Charlotte. The pain and heartache of young love is achingly laid bare in Monja Art’s hugely accomplished first narrative feature. In this nuanced and realistic portrait of teenage life, everyone wants someone other than the person they’re with. It’s a place where girls like girls who like boys and no-one seems to care – a time when being 17 and in love is all that matters.

You remember it, that guy or girl you fell in love with at 16 or 17. You know, the one that it never worked out with and the crushing feeling that accompanied the longing. Maybe the feelings weren’t mutual. Or maybe you never mustered the courage to tell them. Or maybe it just didn’t work out because life as a teenager can be pretty damn complicated. When watching young Austrian director Monja Art’s debut film, Seventeen (Siebzehn),it’s impossible not reminisce on those forlorn feels. The filmbrilliantly illustrates the kind of unfulfilled and hopelessly romantic love you can never quite shake off you.

The film’s characters inhabit a small rural world that consists only of high school and the local nightclub, far from the next big city. 17-year-old Paula falls head over heels for her classmate Charlotte, who has a boyfriend but at the same time feels strongly drawn to Paula. In an effort to forget about Charlotte, Paula starts getting involved with her classmate Tim. And when the manipulative Lilli starts to intrude, things only get more complicated.

The drama was recently awarded the Austrian Max Ophüls Prize and was shown at major European festivals like the Berlinale and the BFI Flare London LGTBQ Film Festival.

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