Imagine a single-sex version of Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Love, transposed to the Dominican Republic, and you’re getting close to the spirit of this delicate, honest tale of the relationship between a French grandmother – played with slowburn passion by Geraldine Chaplin – and a young Dominican girl.
Svelte young Noeli (Yanet Mojica) makes a living by befriending rich foreigners in an upscale Dominican beach resort. Her boyfriend (Ricardo Ariel Toribio) is happy to live off her earnings. Noeli’s main client is Anne (Chaplin), a solitary, ageing Frenchwoman who seems to need the young girl as much for companionship as for sex, and has a plan to take her back to France. The boyfriend is wary, jealous but also conflicted by his need for the money Noeli brings home. The story will resolve itself in a surprising way that yet feels entirely believable.
It’s a film with a restless motion, a film about people in transit (on motorbikes, on foot, in life), in which the question of whether to stay or whether to go takes on a special, existential resonance.
Please note that the festival is over 18s only