Date of release: 2022-01-26
Sold to: Denmark: Modtryk, Estonia: Rahva Raamat, Finland: WSOY, France: Robert Laffont, Norway: Pax, Poland: Poznanskie, Russia: Ripol
Katja and Lou have been best friends ever since they first met in a high school drama class. But while Katja has had to abandon her acting dreams, Lou has become an international film star, a career that took off thanks to the celebrated costume drama Babetta.
It’s summer, and Lou has asked Katja if she wants to come and spend the vacation with her at a chateau in southern France where she lives with Renaud, a legendary French cinematographer twice her age. Katja is on a break from her university film studies, awaiting a decision whether they will finance her dissertation, so the trip suits her well. But perhaps even more important: when Lou calls, Katja comes – just the way things have always been.
Despite Lou’s obvious power advantage, their friendship seems at first unchanged. They share everything like siblings, or like two sides of the same mirror. For Katja, Lou and Renaud’s world appears surreal, more fantasy than reality. She observes her hosts with a reluctant fascination, trying to decipher Lou’s moods and the nature of her relationship with Renaud. As the weeks go by, Katja finds herself more and more entangled in their games. Strange things start to occur, truth and lies seem impossible to tell apart, as if reality is bending at someone's will. Is Lou simply using their friendship as part of a bizarre, staged act of play?
Following the immense success with her polyphonic novel Testament, Nina Wähä returns with an enigmatic psychological chamber play that is also a tribute to the art of filmmaking with all its heroes and villains. In Babetta, Wähä explores the symbiosis of a female friendship bordering on exploitation, as in Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, and at the same time she skilfully captures the sun-drenched suspense from Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and François Ozon’s Swimming Pool.
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