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Time Out says
Teenage kicks with a stark twist in rural France. Le Souffle ('Deep Breath') charts a sweltering day in the life of 15-year-old David (Bonnetblanc), who's sulking through the holidays on his uncles' farm. When the men throw a hog roast for their friends, the teenager is invited to get hammered for the first time with the grown-ups, leading to much intoxicated bravado, revelations and an aftermath more likely to induce queasiness than the average hangover. Issues of male bonding and rites of passage are standard fare, but Odoul's first feature adds rawness and a sense of the grotesque all the more potent for being shot in heavy, striking b/w. Its matter of fact rustic violence might be hard to stomach, but when in one scene a drunken David conducts a woodland funeral for a dead bunny, it's also weirdly affecting. Of the small cast of non-professionals, the lanky, pallid Bonnetblanc's brilliant performance bristles with nervous energy. At points, the film is rather too effective at conveying a sense of isolated torpor. At its best, however, it's brutal, dreamy and wryly funny.