It’s summer. Sam, 27, sits behind the wheel of his old Ford and is heading south. He’s picked up two hitchhikers – Léa and Mathieu, who are brother and sister – so that he won’t be so bored on the long journey. As their journey progresses, both the driver and his passengers will get to know each other, challenge each other, and fall in love. But Sam has a secret, an old wound that has been torn open again – he has at long last received a message from his mother and now wants to see her again.
PLEIN SUD, Sébastien Lifshitz’s first film since WILD SIDE (2004), is a road movie in the classical sense. At its centre is a quiet young man who undertakes a journey to come to terms with his past. On the way he meets some fugitives who throw him off course. Their journey through the landscape, their looks and gestures and their restlessness replace the need for psychology, or a critical examination of their numb lives. The luminous landscape of southern France, the erotic atmosphere and the lightness of summer all serve to distract the travellers from their dark secrets.
Sébastien Lifshitz: “The film plays with the codes of the Western. It is built around a secretive, hardened character who doesn’t speak and who sets out to seek revenge. Is the mission he gives himself a good thing? Probably not. The further he travels, the more memories resurface. They pile up and back him into a corner. And these memories show us where he’s from, where he’s going and what he will do. Not unlike the hero of the Western, Sam is a loner, a drifter, a man whose life has broken him.”