Anna is 16, and lives with her young mother, Rebecca. It is the end of another summer defined by her mom’s flings and conquests, but during which Anna begins to discover her own sensuality. As Anna learns she is pregnant, her mother sees herself in her daughter, at the same age, facing the same choices. And if Anna’s decision implies a rupture in her relationship with Rebecca, she will find support where she least expects it.
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How was the idea of “Matriochkas” born?
I wanted to talk about the concept of motherhood, in a way that is probably less poetic or symbolic than it usually is. A clumsy sense of motherhood, which creates a complicated and imperfect mother-daughter relationship, as are the characters of the film. I wanted to observe the influence a mother struggling with that status has on her daughter, and consequently that daughter’s outlook on motherhood. Also, I wanted to develop strong female characters, decision-makers that are also touching in their struggles.
How did you conceive the cast of the film, which is composed of professional as well as non-professional actors?
As I was writing, I had already thought of Guillaume Duhesme, whom I had already worked with, to take on the role of Nelson, as well as Victoire Du Bois, whom I didn’t know personally, to play Rebecca. I met Victoire for this movie. The character interested her as it involved some composition, and was quite an exciting challenge for her, as well as for me. For the main character, Anna, I casted a lot of young girls all across Belgium and France. Heloïse came to the casting, and this was her first-ever audition. That meeting was decisive and made it obvious that she was Anna. The fact that she was inexperienced made her curious: she was like a sponge, absorbing everything. She learned a lot and thought us a lot also. She gave me her trust and in exchange we tried together to push the limits of what she thought she was capable of. Rehearsing with Heloïse, Victoire and Guillaume, I was immediately convinced: if a film shoot has its share of unpredictability, I was now sure that they would be solid.