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‘Last Summer’ Review: Catherine Breillat Breaks One Of The Last Sexual Taboos In Steamy Story Of Passion And Betrayal – Cannes Film Festival

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Still breaking boundaries at the age of 74, French filmmaker Catherine Breillat returns to the Cannes competition with a film that squarely confronts the one taboo that is still ring-fenced from liberal tolerance: sex between adults and children.

In the past, she has worked with porn stars, was one of the first to show an erection in an arthouse film and earned herself the moniker “porno auteuriste.”  Last Summer is less graphic, but just as disquieting – not simply for the fact that a woman in early middle-age has an explosive affair with her teenage stepson, but for the way Breillat shows a bourgeois family fracturing, papering over the cracks with lies and ultimately repairing itself, the salves of silence and hypocrisy ensuring that nothing unpleasant is exposed and nothing changes.

A highly politically charged film, therefore, even though it mostly concerns itself with a woman and a boy having sex behind the woodshed.

It should  be said that willowy Theo (Samuel Kircher) is not a child, other than in a legal sense, although we never learn his exact age.

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