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Sister

Sister

Released 2 November 2012
Director Ursula Meier
Starring




Kacey Mottet Klein, Léa Seydoux, Martin Compston, Gillian Anderson, Jean-Francois Stévenin, Yann Trégouet, Gabin Lefebvre
Writer(s) Antoine Jaccoud, Ursula Meier, Gilles Taurand
Producer(s) Ruth Waldburger
Origin France, Switzerland
Running Time 100 minutes
Genre Drama
Rating TBC
86

I am not my brother's keeper.

What would we do without family? There aren't many that find themselves in this predicament and those that do can often turn to their close friends as a substitute. But there are those in life who struggle through on their lonesome, fighting whatever fight they have left with bitterness and unloved. Sister is a compelling story of this very situation on the brink of happening as a young boy and his older sister struggle on the edge of poverty at the base of a popular Swiss ski resort.

With his tactless sister Louise out of work and more willing to go off gallivanting with joy-racer men than to find anything that pays, twelve year-old Simon 'works' the winter holiday months in a resort on the Alps stealing whatever he can find in order to provide for the only family he has. From the off it is clear that they have a unique chemistry, wrestling playfully for the only scrap of food they have for that night. But Louise takes advantage of Simon and the generosity of gifts and money he lavishes upon her. While claiming his goods, Simon forms unlikely friendships, which makes it become increasingly clear that all he desperately craves is the love of a real family.

With a stellar cast of stars who have featured in an array of critically acclaimed films, Sister always had the promise of producing something a little bit special. And it certainly did not disappoint. From start to finish of this evenly paced drama, the impact is touching, the ultimate ending always unknown – if at one point you think it's obvious, the next you will once again be doubting yourself. The on-screen chemistry between leads Léa Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein is at times heartwarming, on other occasions devastating but forever reminding of the sometimes painful realities of family life.

The support cast of X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Martin Compston, as two of Simon's friends/victims on his escapades, brings a suitably multinational flavour to the winter ski resort that promises so much to those who visit but leaves a resounding shadow over the unfortunate who must live underneath its facile gaze. Despite the beautiful backdrop, this high-low premise of landscape is not lost on the antithetical levels of class and existence. Simon's industrial efforts to rip people off are at odds with his true desire to live a normal, uneventful life – and his growing responsibility is in contrast to the wild habits of his kin.

Sister is layered with intricately placed themes but they never interfere with the focal point of the almost unbreakable relationships founded on family.

- David Caulfield