Q&A with Vanessa Filho on Mar. 5

After precocious 13-year-old Vanessa Springora (Kim Higelin) meets famed middle-aged writer Gabriel Matzneff (Jean-Paul Rouve) at a mid-1980s soirée where her mother (Laetitia Casta) is a guest, the preteen falls quickly into a romantic relationship with the decades-older man. As Matzneff—whose books detailing his own relationships with adolescents gained him a prominent status within the French literary establishment—exercises increasingly insidious forms of control over Vanessa, his monstrous intentions gradually reveal themselves in tandem with the young woman’s dawning consciousness of her own exploitation. This disturbing real-life story became a sensation in France when Springora published her memoir in 2020, with the subsequent scandal leading to the passage of long-overdue age-of-consent legislation. Springora worked alongside director Vanessa Filho to adapt her book for the screen, resulting in a powerful and unflinching examination of sexual predation hiding in plain sight.