In Lucie Borleteau’s striking debut feature, the sailor setting off to sea and leaving behind a lonely lover is a woman: Alice, a young ship engineer who is called to replace a dead crew member on the cargo ship Fidelio. Once aboard, Alice realizes that Fidelio is the new name of the vessel she was trained on a decade earlier. And that the ship’s captain was once her first great love. As the Fidelio takes Alice away from her boyfriend Felix and exposes her to temptations great and small, Borleteau paints an unforgettable picture of shipboard life from the perspective of a woman who is one of the boys but faces the double standards that go with being the only girl in a world of men. Aside from its fascinatingly gritty and detailed account of work and play between ports of call in Senegal, France, and Poland, Fidelio is a thought provoking investigation of faithfulness and the nature of love and desire. In Alice (played by rising star Ariane Lebed) and the international mix of personalities surrounding her on board the Fidelio, Borleteau has created a cast of unusually complex, layered characters. Her greatest achievement here may be in successfully deflating stereotypes without entirely giving up on the romance of the sea.
Lucie Borleteau, Clara Bourreau
Anders Danielsen Lie
French, Romanian, English, Tagalog, Norwegian