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Love at First Fight Les combattants

Thomas Cailley / France / 2014 / 98 min / French / 15+

Teenage love blossoms in the wild South West France that replaces tender romance with comical training in preparation for the apocalypse.

Between his friends and the family business, Arnaud’s summer looks set to be a peaceful one. Until he runs into Madeleine, as beautiful as she is brusque, a concrete block of tensed muscles. Braving the end of the world, she trains herself intensely and aspires to join the army. And she does – with Arnaud, clearly smitten by this human tornado, joining her on a two-week training session. Given she hasn’t asked him for anything, just how far will he go along with her? It’s a love story. Or a story of survival. Or both.

»I grew up in Aquitaine (France), and I had wanted to film in the Landes region, with its huge forests and lakes, for a long time. /.../ This otherwise peaceful countryside is often stricken by disaster in the form of winter storms and summer fires. /.../ This kind of collision, the clash of two opposing elements, is what I envisioned for Arnaud and Madeleine. From there, I imagined the journey of these two diametrically opposed characters, who would come together and push the boundaries of possibility.« (Thomas Cailley)

Thomas Cailley
After studying political science, Cailley pursued studies of scriptwriting at La Fémis (Paris). In 2010, he made his first work, Paris Shanghai, a short film that won awards at numerous festivals. Love at First Fight marks Cailley’s feature debut that screened within the scope of Cannes 2014 Directors' Fortnight and bagged all the major awards.


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