If you're missing the feeling of a curved metal edge across a white crumbled slope, then witnessing this film will cause immense jealously. 'Slalom' has been released this month on Curzon Films, which zones in on one young girl's pressure to be the champion of slicing the red poles. Neglected by her mother in the Alps, and surrounded by adolescent teens, she turns to her male coach for stability. The trailer portrays a stunning image from a flourishing new director Charlene Favier, looking at abuse, control and secrecy between their relationship.
The reasons you need to engage with this film are relevantly simple. Charlene creates an intense world through the impeccable cinematography. If you've ever been fortunate enough to venture onto a film set, you would have experienced first hand the amount of camera equipment on tracks to follow one individuals path. You will be astonished by the movie's scenes on skis. You feel attached like an arm band on the young girl's side, swishing through the snow, building adrenaline as you gain speed. Skiing is such a lonesome sport, so to be able to achieve such connectivity for the audience in this film is an impressive achievement.
The other element is the acting. It's already a low budget feature spoken in French, which makes it less appealing for most western audiences. However, it took guts from this director to brush on such a voiceless topic such as sexual abuse on athletes. Favier says that she grew up in the Alps and skied competitively as a girl, but that "Slalom is not my story - it's not autobiographical in the true sense of the word". However, you can't help but feel every emotion for this young girl's path by the incredible performance from Noée Abita.
Slalom (Curzon Cinema)
Watching Lyz deteriorate is a heartbreaking experience, as she ciphers all information around the abuse to gain recognition in the competition. It's quite frustrating then, that the film ends on such a minimal note. You do see her take charge of the situation within the last few seconds, but I'm sure, like many others enticed into the drama, their were many questions on my lips as the credits rolled in.
This is a movie to be honoured for its peripheral view from a discomforted female's eye. She fights to be recognised, to be on the same level as her challenges, but with such a heavy cost. Aesthetic camera angles guide you through the cold wintery scenes, and you're left with a sense of truth behind a clever depicted story.
Slalom (Curzon Cinema)