In an alternative future the state exterminates orphan boys rejected by society—who have reflexively hardened and learnt to kill in response. Only Jessica shares her love and care with them, which they had never experienced before. A paradoxical dystopia, the film explores the interconnection between masculinity and vulnerability, violence and romance, defection and revolution.
In the world of the nearest future, the government does not recognize boys who were born orphans and do not fit into society. Tracked down using murder drones which try to shoot them, these boys respond even more violently by turning into cold-blooded killers on testosterone and anabolic steroids. Only Jessica—a female soldier—sees innocent and sensitive kids in them who strive for love and harmony. Under her patronage they unite into somewhat a military brotherhood—a utopian community independent from the outside world.
Jessica Forever is a long-awaited feature-length debut by the young French duo Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel who became noted for their shorts, one of which, As Long as Shotguns Remain (2014), won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. The directors’ signature style offers the viewer an explosive mixture of genuine romanticism and brutal irony, minimalism and camp, sterile aestheticism and fleshy “low” genres. The future depicted in Jessica Forever combines elements of capitalist techno-contemporaneity and archaic fantasy, while the plot is a story of discovery of identity in a new world where masculinity can be fragile, sexuality is not divided into male and female, and revolutions are conducted by minorities who have always lived on the margins of society. World premiered at the Toronto Film Festival; the picture went on to be screened at the Berlinale.
Directors Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
France, 2018. 97 min. 18+