Film Review: My First Summer
By edhat staff
Directed by Katie Found
Written by Katie Found
Starring Markella Kavenagh, Maiah Stewardson, Harvey Zielinski, Steve Mouzakis
"My First Summer" follows the first feelings of teenage love by two characters surrounded by tragedy.
The film opens with sixteen-year-old Claudia who has grown up in isolation from the outside world on a remote property in Australia. She's left alone after failing to commit suicide alongside her mother when a quirky local teenager, Grace, stumbles upon the property.
The two girls form an instant bond and deep connection as they both find escape in one another from their lives. While a bigger threat of being discovered looms in the distance, the teens explore their love in a way that's reminiscent of all first loves with butterflies, hesitation, excitement, and passion.
The setting itself acts as a sort of the third character with bright and vivid pictures of fruit trees, swimming holes, and tall wispy trees. Perhaps the idyllic background coupled with the trauma both characters are trying to escape is representative of being a teenager. Deep feelings layered in complexity.
Both actresses were a delight to watch, fully encompassing the characters and their intricacies. A well-done coming of age film and LGBTQ love story overcoming tragedies.
The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021 online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes and tickets are available at www.sbiff.org.