Levante, an intense Brazilian thriller about abortion - Review and trailer

Published by Nathanaël de Sortiraparis, Julie de Sortiraparis · Published on December 3rd, 2023 at 11:26 a.m.
For her first feature, Lillah Halla presents Levante, her beautiful film about a volleyball team's sisterhood in the face of one of them's illegal desire for an abortion. The film is due in French cinemas on December 6, 2023.

Lillah Halla's Levante, in competition at the Caméra d'or, the competition for first films, and at Critics' Week, has been selected for the prestigious Cannes 2023 Festival. And the selection is well-deserved! The Brazilian filmmaker's debut is a powerful tale of the unwanted pregnancy of Sofia (played by the brilliant Ayomi Domenica).

The 17-year-old plays in an inclusive volleyball club, where all the players are part of the LGBT+ community, and is destined for a bright future in the sport when the bad news arrives. And since abortion is illegal in Brazil, Sofia is looking for a way to get rid of the fetus. As in L'Evénement and Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Levante recounts the daily life of a young woman in the grip of her destiny, criminalized by the whole town as soon as the news of her pregnancy breaks.

But Levante differs from these two examples when Lillah Halla decides to explore this issue through the eyes of today's Brazilian society, which strongly condemns the practice of abortion. The film then becomes a stifling thriller, where the protagonist is constantly spied on, stalked and even harassed by the rest of the town. Fortunately, neither Sofia nor those close to her, the other players on the team, are prepared to submit to the blind fervor of the rest of the world.

The filmmaker, who loves her actresses deeply, takes the side of intense sisterhood. This is evident in the way she films their interactions, their friendship, their bodies. Lillah Halla celebrates these courageous women and makes them the heroines of an impressive film.

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Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
Starts December 6th, 2023

× Approximate opening times: to confirm opening times, please contact the establishment.

    Average duration
    1 h 40 min

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