Goodbye First Love

Goodbye First Love

Camille (Lola Creton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky) in Mia Hansen-Love's GOODBYE FIRST LOVE. Photo Credit: Carole Bethuel. A Sundance Selects release.

Goodbye First Love

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* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Goodbye First Love (2011)

Also Known As: Un Amour de Jeunesse

Opened: 04/20/2012 Limited

IFC Center04/20/2012 - 05/10/201221 days
Lincoln Plaza04/20/2012 - 05/10/201221 days
Royal Theatre04/20/2012 - 05/03/201214 days
Playhouse 704/20/2012 - 05/03/201214 days
Town Center 504/27/2012 - 05/03/20127 days
Music Hall 305/04/2012 - 05/10/20127 days
Kendall Square...05/11/2012 - 05/17/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: French/German Romantic Drama (French w/English subtitles)

Rated: Unrated


French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Love returns to Toronto after her critically acclaimed THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN with an acutely perceptive portrait of a bright young woman in the wake of her first romance. Fifteen-year-old Camille (Lola Creton) is a serious, intensely focused girl who has fallen in love with cheerful Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), an older boy who reciprocates her feelings, mostly, but wants to be free to explore the world. When he leaves her to travel through South America, she is devastated. But over the next eight years, she develops into a more fully formed woman, with new interests and a new love--and the possibility that she'll be less defenseless when Sullivan enters her life again. Filled with scenes that showcase her extraordinary ability to evoke moods and feelings, Hansen-Love takes the story of a young woman's first romance and makes it into a singular experience, familiar in its broad strokes and yet so specific that it feels uniquely personal.


  • 2011 Locarno International Film Festival: Special Mention
  • 2011 Telluride Film Festival
  • 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
  • 2011 New York Film Festival
  • 2011 Chicago International Film Festival
  • 2011 Philadelphia International Film Festival
  • 2011 San Francisco French Film Festival
  • 2012 Col*Coa Film Festival

Director's Statement

I started thinking about GOODBYE FIRST LOVE right after shooting ALL IS FORGIVEN. The characters and the outline were already in place, but I didn't feel up to tackling the subject. Then, after THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN, the story imposed itself. I needed to turn the page concerning the father figure and make a film that spoke about what was for me the defining and central part of my adolescence - what made me who I am. But above all, it seemed to me that this story could be universal. It was this aspect that encouraged me to write it.

GOODBYE FIRST LOVE is, in my eyes, the last part of a sort of trilogy that has formed itself spontaneously. My three films have several themes in common: survival after mourning or a separation, the passage of time, the strength of feelings, solitude and destiny. And also perseverance, learning to become oneself, and to be free. I just read this saying by Proust in a book by Annie Ernaux: "Where life closes round us, intelligence pierces an egress."

I attempt to express complex issues in a simple and direct manner. For this reason, I do not try to highlight the directing style, although the question of form is present throughout all my work.

In addition, my three films expose certain contradictions, maintaining that these contradictions are essential; not only are they a part of life, but perhaps they also give life meaning.

For example: Sullivan seems to be in love with Camille, yet he leaves her; Camille does and doesn't mourn Sullivan; a passion, architecture, work, then meeting Lorenz frees her from her sorrow and obsession, yet in the end this emancipation itself is what leads her back to Sullivan. Finally, she loves two men and finds some kind of balance within this imbalance.

I don't know how to paint, but I know that cinema often has things in common with painting: expressing what is invisible through images, attempting to find or reinvent a singular and missing presence. Establishing a tone, a color, a movement; making something that is ephemeral definitive. But what is specific to filmmaking is, for example, the choice of an actor, a line of dialogue, a frame, a cut, or the length of a shot; it is especially the outcome, the feeling that something has been embodied - this is the element from which I derive the most pleasure, one that is ideally cathartic, for oneself as well as for others.

Finally, what gives me the momentum to write is the story: I like to be told stories, and to tell stories. I have confidence that fiction can attain truth, as long as the fiction is a quest for finding one's own language.

My grandmother who hasn't seen my film yet, recently wrote me a letter citing Kierkegaard from memory: "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." That is exactly what I wanted to say -- and do -- in this film.

About the Director

Mia Hansen-Love was born in 1981. She was cast by Olivier Assayas in LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER (1998) and LES DESTINEES SENTIMENTALES (2000) before she began formal training at the Paris Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique in 2001.

From 2003-2005, Mia wrote for the Cahiers du Cinema and directed several short films. GOODBYE FIRST LOVE is her third feature after FATHER OF MY CHILDREN (LE PERE DE MES ENFANTS) in 2009 and her 2006 debut ALL IS FORGIVEN (TOUT EST PARDONNE).