Premières solitudes

Young Solitude
Their names are Tessa, Anaïs, Catia, Manon, Elia, Hugo, Clément. They’re all eleventh-grade students at a lycée in Ivry, an unadorned suburb of Paris, they have puppy fat, voices still squeaky and braces on their teeth. In differing combinations of twos and threes, they swap stories and viewpoints, about their family backgrounds, their relationships with their parents, first loves and dreams for the future, all seemingly unaffected by the presence of the camera. Few of them have anyone to truly confide in at home, making their ability to articulate their emotions with such eloquence and self-reflection and reveal their insecurities, longings, sorrows and fears all the more astonishing. On the cusp of adulthood, they vacillate between stoic composure – that life is hard is a certainty accepted with a shrug – and romanticism; between the desire to be cared for and the anticipation of imminent independence; between earnestness and youthful abandon.
The ephemeral nature of being 17 in this world may be daunting, yet it carries solace too. Solace is also what Claire Simon provides with her tremendously astute and sensitive approach: It is a comfort to know one is not alone after all.
by Claire Simon France 2018 French 100’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


Written and Directed by Claire Simon
Cinematography Claire Simon
Editing Lea Masson, Luc Forveille
Sound Design Pierre Bompy, Elias Boughedir
Sound Virgile Van Ginneken, Nathalie Vidal
Producers Michel Zana Sophie Dulac Productions, Sophie Dulac Sophie Dulac Productions, Aurelien Py Carthage Films, Lazare Gousseau Carthage Films

World sales

Wide House

Produced by

Sophie Dulac Productions

Claire Simon

Born in London. She first worked as an editor, and then shot several short films and documentaries before making her first feature film, Sinon, oui, in 1997. In addition to working as a director and screenwriter, Claire Simon is a cinematographer and actress.


1976 Madeleine 1980 Tandis que j’agonise 1988 La police 1989 Les patients; 75 min. · Les patients 1991 Scènes de menage · Scènes de ménage; 40 min. 1992 Artiste peintre · Récréations 1993 Faits divers 1995 Coûte que coûte (At All Costs); 95 min. 1997 Sinon, oui (A Foreign Body); 115 min. 1995 Coûte que coûte 1997 Sinon, oui (A Foreign Body) 1998 Récréations; 54 min. 1999 Ça c’est vraiment toi; 122 min. · Ça c’est vraiment toi 2000 800 Kilomètres de différence (Romance); 78 min. · 800 Kilomètres de différence (Romance) 2002 Mimi; Berlinale Forum, 107 min. · Mimi 2006 Ça brûle (On Fire); 111 min. · Ça brûle 2008 Les bureaux de Dieu (God's Offices); 122 min. · Les Bureaux de Dieu 2013 Géographie humaine · Géographie humaine (Human Geography); 101 min. · Gare du Nord; 119 min. · Gare du Nord 2015 Le Bois dont les rêves sont faits · Le bois dont les rêves sont faits (The Woods Dreams Are Made of); 144 min. 2016 Le Concours · Le concours (The Competition); 121 min. 2018 Premières solitudes (Young Solitude) · Premières solitudes (Young Solitude); Berlinale Forum, 100 min. 2019 Le village – Première saison; 280 min. · Le village – Saison deux; 255 min. 2020 Le fils de l'épicière, le maire, le village et le monde (The Grocer's Son, the Mayor, the Village and the World); 111 min. 2021 Vous ne désirez que moi (I Want to Talk About Duras); 95 min. 2023 Notre corps (Our Body); 168 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023