Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Love Like Poison 2010

Un poison violent

Directed by Katell Quillévéré

A teenage girl learns some lessons about sex, death and the love of Jesus in this award-winning French drama. "An auspicious debut... beautiful and unsettling" — Sight and Sound

France In French with English subtitles
92 minutes


Justin Taurand


Katell Quillévéré
Mariette Désert


Tom Harari


Thomas Marchand


Olivier Mellano


Clara Augarde (Anna)
Lio (Jeanne)
Michel Galabru (Jean)
Stefano Cassetti (Père François)
Thierry Neuvic (Paul)
Youen Leboulanger-Gourvil (Pierre)


Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), London 2010


The intimate, finessed female coming-of-age drama is a French speciality. This notable new example directed and co-written by Katell Quillévéré endows a teenage girl’s apprehensions about sex, death and the love of Jesus with an empathetic sense of adolescence as a solitary pursuit. Fourteen-year-old Anna has returned from boarding school to her village in Brittany where she stays with her mother and her ailing but pagan-spirited paternal grandfather. It seems that sex is in the air everywhere she looks – church included. A pipsqueak choirboy hits on her; her mother’s devotion to the youthful local priest is not strictly ecclesiastical. Quillévéré keeps us on tenterhooks while Anna observes what’s preoccupying the adults, keeps her own counsel and weighs the seemliness of her own brushes with ecstasy. — BG

“Quillévéré mixes this heady brew of contradictory emotions with great delicacy and attentiveness to fine detail.” — Dave Jenkins, Time Out