Reaching Deep Within

April 08, 2013   |   posted in Filmmakers


Every person endures struggles and experiences change over the course of his or her lifetime.

Before she made her directorial debut, Director and screenwriter of “Youth,” Justine Malle wanted to be a high school Philosophy teacher. After she decided to follow in her family’s cinematic footsteps—her father a director and her mother an actress—Malle worked on a few documentaries and two short films. “Youth” is her first feature length.

“Writing this script was a challenge,” Malle says. “It was very personal and obsessive. I wanted to go as deep as possible into my feelings and subconscious. Writing alone was really difficult for me.”

Like many writers and artists, Malle is easily discouraged and critical of herself and her work. She has learned that she prefers to write with a partner.

“When I started writing with someone else it was much better,” she says. “Like any artistic endeavor it was a battle with myself and how far could I go inside [my feelings].”

“Youth” is a “completely autobiographical film,” she says, “though with a lot of things modified.”

It didn’t start off that way, but she realized she wanted to be true to the story, essentially, her story. The film tells the tale of what happened to her at age 20, when her father developed a degenerative illness.

“It’s about a young woman who has this terrible thing happen to her and she is obviously not prepared. She doesn’t want to deal with it and actually doesn’t deal with it [death] in any way,” says Malle.

Though she believes audiences may think she does not address the subject, Malle deals with the conversation about death elegantly and “Hopefully,” she says, “without superficiality.”

Malle wants Cleveland Film Festival audiences to embrace the violence of the pain, and feel it wholeheartedly, in spite of the subtle style demonstration.

-- Molly Drake
Photo by Janet Macoska.

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.8 MB]

Related Screenings:
04/08/13 @ 7:35 PM – Youth
04/09/13 @ 5:20 PM – Youth

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