Rita has it all. She is 15 years old and the summer is ahead of her. She floods the balcony floor and splashes about while soaking up the mighty sun. She has an ex-future boyfriend and an ever-present best friend. She braids her hair and goes to parties.
Naturally, from Portugal to the South Pacific, this whole fortress gently falls apart when Rita visits the exhibition put on by a new neighbour in the local community center.
João Nicolau was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and therefore has never understood (nor will he ever) a thing about the Middle East.
He works as a film director, film editor, actor and musician.
He has directed the features The Sword and the Rose (2010) and John From (2015) and the short films Bird of Prey (2006), Song of Love and Health (2009), The Gift of Tears (2012) and Wild Haggis (2013).
His films are regularly shown in the most prestigious film festivals: Cannes, Venice, Locarno, São Paulo, Belfort, Vienna, Busan, Buenos Aires, Sevilla, Vila do Conde, Angers, Milan, Montreal, Mar del Plata, Belo Horizonte, Valdivia, Rome, Sarajevo, among others.
Nothing is as fierce as the heart of a young girl. If there’s anything purer and more violent I don’t know what that might be.
Openly prudish and playful, this film seeks to sound out the logic and transformations of youthful passion. By respecting and observing its particular codes, this exploration deliberately avoids the approach that sees the attraction between a teenager and someone older as a psychological disorder or a symptom of social disease. Both the film and the protagonist are left with no other route than the constant transfiguration that brings us closer to the most truthful side of this passionate relationship: beauty itself.