The Summer of Sangaile

DIRECTOR: Alanté Kavaïté

Bay Area Premiere

Seventeen-year-old Sangaile is mesmerized by the aerial poetry of watching stunt planes in flight. A brooding, directionless girl trapped in a cage of adolescent fear and self-doubt, she meets Auste at an aeronautics show during her summer vacation. The vivacious Auste watches Sangaile watch the acrobatic airplanes and pursues the other girl, inviting her into her own group of friends. Director Alanté Kavaïté beautifully captures the shifting dynamics of group flirtation and friendship, as Auste and Sangaile single each other out, and the gang falls away.

Despite different backgrounds, the two click. Sangaile is privileged, spending an idle summer in Mid-Century Modern splendor at her family’s country house. Auste lives in a concrete apartment block and works in the power plant’s restaurant. While Sangaile’s bedroom is bare, Auste’s room explodes with retro, DIY kitsch. Where Sangaile is afraid to pursue her fascination with flying, Auste explores her creativity fearlessly, making clothes, jelly, and art photos. Under Auste’s spell, Sangaile begins to peel off her protective layers—starting with her shirt, when Auste measures her for a dress.

Winner of the prestigious World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the film tells its story with a visual bravura that is pure pleasure. Floating aerial shots of the lush countryside follow sharply observed domestic still lifes; scenes of Sangaile’s self-harm are rendered in cool shorthand, while the visceral, vertiginous flying sequences are not for the faint of heart. The end result is a rich portrait of first love—the physical infatuation, the tumultuous emotions, and the pure joy of desire—neatly expressed by the image of a lit-up tutu, tossed into the air.

— Monica Nolan

In Lithuanian with English subtitles.

This film contains depictions of self-harm.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F132

Co-presented by:
California Film Institute
Stanford Pride Alumni Association

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