Sunburned – Caught in a Trap of Adult World

REVIEW/NATION
by Diana Ushkar
20.12.2020
Sunburned (2019), recently presented at the German Film Festival, is a movie directed by Carolina Hellsgard. It portrays first love, showing in great detail what happens to the young heart when it meets the feeling it wasn't ready for.
The story seems quite ordinary, though reveals the state of being more profound than you expected. German family arrives at an elite hotel in Spain to spend a vacation together. But if the mother and the elder sister enjoy their time, drowning in the holiday romances, 13-years old Claire feels abandoned and completely frustrated. All those romantic issues seem so unfamiliar, that she has to shorten her time wandering around the hotel.

One day her life changes completely. She meets Amram, a young immigrant from Senegal, who pays attention to her only. Being already confused by all those contemplations on passion, Claire falls in love with a boy. That is not just an ordinary love story, however. Amram is a poor immigrant who has to work as a beach seller to survive. He has a strong aspiration to earn enough money so that he could send it to his family in Senegal. Love doesn't seem to be one of his top priorities. But he still considers Claire his girlfriend and values her presence, so she tries to help him in solving his financial problems.
Surprisingly, the love story between two kids is not the key point here — it is just the background of the main issue. Being in love, Claire enters an adult world, which she wasn't ready for. She starts drinking, smoking and hanging out with older girls, wasting time on the parties and doing other stuff she's never even liked. The main conflict is in Claire's solitude. She is still too young, so she doesn't realize what happens to her life; she's completely lost. In this case, she needs her mother or elder sister to be here for her to prevent from making all these horrible mistakes. But they are absent as they are busy with their own lives. That is the message Sunburned gives us. Relatives are sometimes blind to each other's problems, and this may lead to terrible consequences.
Though showing love between two kids is risky at some point, in Sunburned it worked perfectly. Young actors Zita Gaier (Claire) and Gedion Odour Wekesa (Amram) looked very natural on the screen, so the relationship between their characters didn't look too embarrassing or romanticized. It was rather realistic, profound and heart-touching.

The picture helps to get the vibe of the movie. Landscapes and still life pictures fit perfectly into the story. The film contains some extremely impressive scenes, like one of the kid's games, where Claire is running around the beach in a fox mask trying to catch others. It is a good metaphor, as far as wild foxes are the symbol of the movie and the object of Claire's interest. She's curious and wild; she's a true rebel just like the fox, and that is why such a story happens to her.
Another thing that creates the atmosphere is the soundtrack. The hum and ringing sounds that immerse us in the crucial scenes are being constantly interrupted with the loud party music or silence. Such a combination reflects Claire's state of mind, which is being in frustration. That motive of frustration in general covers the whole movie, translating the idea that being young and green is freaky in some ways.
 
Sunburned – Caught in a Trap of Adult World
REVIEW/NATION
by Diana Ushkar
20.12.2020
Sunburned (2019), recently presented at the German Film Festival, is a movie directed by Carolina Hellsgard. It portrays first love, showing in great detail what happens to the young heart when it meets the feeling it wasn't ready for.
The story seems quite ordinary, though reveals the state of being more profound than you expected. German family arrives at an elite hotel in Spain to spend a vacation together. But if the mother and the elder sister enjoy their time, drowning in the holiday romances, 13-years old Claire feels abandoned and completely frustrated. All those romantic issues seem so unfamiliar, that she has to shorten her time wandering around the hotel.

One day her life changes completely. She meets Amram, a young immigrant from Senegal, who pays attention to her only. Being already confused by all those contemplations on passion, Claire falls in love with a boy. That is not just an ordinary love story, however. Amram is a poor immigrant who has to work as a beach seller to survive. He has a strong aspiration to earn enough money so that he could send it to his family in Senegal. Love doesn't seem to be one of his top priorities. But he still considers Claire his girlfriend and values her presence, so she tries to help him in solving his financial problems.
Surprisingly, the love story between two kids is not the key point here — it is just the background of the main issue. Being in love, Claire enters an adult world, which she wasn't ready for. She starts drinking, smoking and hanging out with older girls, wasting time on the parties and doing other stuff she's never even liked. The main conflict is in Claire's solitude. She is still too young, so she doesn't realize what happens to her life; she's completely lost. In this case, she needs her mother or elder sister to be here for her to prevent from making all these horrible mistakes. But they are absent as they are busy with their own lives. That is the message Sunburned gives us. Relatives are sometimes blind to each other's problems, and this may lead to terrible consequences.

Though showing love between two kids is risky at some point, in Sunburned it worked perfectly. Young actors Zita Gaier (Claire) and Gedion Odour Wekesa (Amram) looked very natural on the screen, so the relationship between their characters didn't look too embarrassing or romanticized. It was rather realistic, profound and heart-touching.

The picture helps to get the vibe of the movie. Landscapes and still life pictures fit perfectly into the story. The film contains some extremely impressive scenes, like one of the kid's games, where Claire is running around the beach in a fox mask trying to catch others. It is a good metaphor, as far as wild foxes are the symbol of the movie and the object of Claire's interest. She's curious and wild; she's a true rebel just like the fox, and that is why such a story happens to her.
Another thing that creates the atmosphere is the soundtrack. The hum and ringing sounds that immerse us in the crucial scenes are being constantly interrupted with the loud party music or silence. Such a combination reflects Claire's state of mind, which is being in frustration. That motive of frustration in general covers the whole movie, translating the idea that being young and green is freaky in some ways.
Made on
Tilda