Foto: Press

The Summer of Sangaile

Film: The Summer of Sangaile

Director: Alanté Kavaïté

Cast: Julija Steponaityte, Aiste Dirziute, Nele Savicenko

Year: 2015

Genre: Drama, Romance

Rating: 6/6

Text: Yeonwoo Baik

Fly, girl, fly

To be confronted with something you’ve never experienced before, to explore your own heart, to feel the change that the confrontation and the exploration brings about, and to take risks and expand the boundary of your world often produce beautiful feelings – and certain amounts of pain and angst. A story perhaps everybody knows, and a story «The Summer of Sangaile» is about.

Sangaile, a 17-year-old girl, gets to know a girl of her age, Auste, at an airshow while she was on her summer holiday. The two girls develop intimate and delicate feelings towards each other, and within this relationship Sangaile finds herself slowly transforming, confronted with emotions she has never felt before.

A reserved, self-contained girl who admires airshow but dares not let herself fly, meets an amicable, somewhat more mature girl and starts to feel something is changing inside her—an ordinary plot in a coming-of-age film. However, it should be said that this film demonstrates notable ability in catching the delicate and subtle texture of the feelings and emotions of the girls. The sensitivity that this film shows in the depictions of the angst and fear of Sangaile, of what the two girls feel towards each other, and of how they venture to discover each other, let this film transcend the ordinary level of many other coming-of-age films. Kavaïté’s effort to achieve this sensitivity has come to fruition thanks to the brilliant acting of Julija Steponaityte and Aiste Dirziute who never make anything cheesy. Every moment of this film is intense poetry.

The use of pictures and sounds all add to this property of the film. The pictures of the film are simply remarkable. Each scene is endowed with pictures that alone can stand as visual art pieces. All elements—framing, composition, lighting, colours, tones— are woven together in ways that allow the most perfect beauty to be pulled out of them, and this exquisiteness of the pictures well suits the delicate sentiment of the film. The music and the sound effects also all fall onto their perfect places, creating a dreamy and poetic atmosphere together with other features in this film.

«The Summer of Sangaile» is undoubtedly full of coming-of-age cliches. But cliches survive because they still have the ability to touch and move people when they are properly improvised, and that is what «The Summer of Sangaile» has achieved with its beautiful sensitivity shown in the delicate depiction of sentiments.