Based on the 2018 Argentinian film The Accused, and directed by Stéphane Demoustier, The Girl With A Bracelet follows eighteen year old Lise Bataille (Melissa Guers) through her trial for the murder of her best friend.
Confined to her Nantes village for the two years since the murder of Flora Dufour, awaiting her judgement with an electronic tracker on her ankle, The Girl With A Bracelet examines Lise’s strained relationship with her family, as they do their best to navigate her silence, stubbornness, and make sense of their own feelings of confusion surrounding the events that led to and from the stabbing of a teenage girl.
As the evidence provided by the prosecution attempts to paint Lise as a promiscuous and cold young woman, the jury is forced by both Lise and her lawyer to question their internal respectability politics – just because a young teenager is comfortable being filmed by her best friend (albeit understandably not so comfortable with its subsequent circulation), just because they engaged in sexual activity with their classmates and each other, does that mean we should believe her mature and intelligent enough at sixteen to jealously murder and attempt to get away with it?
Having to sit through the unpicking of his teenage daughter’s character, and even bear witness to the sexual video being used to support the prosecutor’s argument of a revenge killing, Lise’s father Bruno (played by Roschdy Zem, director of 2016’s Chocolat) acts as support at court proceedings, whilst her mother Céline (Chiara Mastroianni) shies away from the circus, citing work as her excuse, all the while attempting to preserve the memory of her innocent young daughter and allowing the pressure to heap across the board.
An anxious courtroom drama that wouldn’t be out of place on a prime-time Sunday night BBC slot, forces all involved to question whether you can ever be sure that you know what the people you love are capable of. Recommended. Sophie Francois