The Cinephiles Review The Summer of Sangaile (2015)

The Summer of Sangaile (2015)

Directed by Alanté Kavaïté

Starring Aiste Dirziute, Julija Steponaityte and Nele Savicenko

This film is listed as the 9th best film in Cahiers du Cinéma’s Top 10 Films of 2015. The instagram user @avery._.james recommended this film to us to review.


Seventeen years old Sangaile is fascinated by stunt planes. She meets a girl her age at a summer aeronautical show. Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret and in the process finds the only person that truly encourages her to fly.


IMDb rating: 6.8

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 67%

Genevieve’s rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Phillip’s rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Jessica’s rating: 🔥🔥🔥


Jessica: I couldn’t connect to this film. It was pretty, but it felt very mechanical, cold and distant. It feels like it is trying too hard to be like Blue is the Warmest color. I also see some correlations to Carol and Brooklyn. Sangaile feels, to me, like a Mary Sue and we are suppose to be her. She is motivated by other characters instead of acting on her own. I don’t mind that I watched the film, but at the same time it didn’t “wow” me. I feel like other films have touched the same themes but better.


Genevieve: I can understand that. I thought it was a very pretty film, too. The camera felt soft, almost like we are seeing the story “la vie en rosé”. Which goes to help prove the dream-like feel of the movie to me.


Jessica: Actually, the plane in the end was called “My Dream”.


Genevieve: I didn’t notice that! It makes so much sense. This entire film could have been a dream of hers, especially since dreams are mentioned and shown so frequently in the plot. And she did seem very depressed throughout the film, so it could have even been the death dream as her dying brain fired different synapses of memory.


Phillip: I’m new to the interpretation of movies and the search for deeper meaning, so I personally didn’t get that vibe. Although, that is an interesting thought. I want to watch it again now to see if it fits in. I may be simplifying it, but I kind of viewed the plane and the relationship as parallels of each other. Both of them was something she wanted and to get both of them she had an internal hurdle to jump over.


Jessica: With what you said, Genevieve, about the camera being soft: I agree with that but I also found it cold and clinical. For instance in the scene where she jumps into the lake on her own. Everything felt so unfeeling and distant.


Genevieve: Did anyone else pick up on the heavy use of vagina symbology? The shells, the outline when she is drawing the dress, even the dead beaver. It all felt like a big use of symbology. Now I’m not sure what the purpose is, other than the obvious, but I see it for sure.


Jessica: I honestly didn’t pick up on that. I’m seeing it now, but yeah, I just couldn’t connect to the film as a whole.
Phillip: I saw the vagina references as well, but I might have been reading too much into it. Overall, not a bad film but not the greatest either.




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