17 year-old Sangaile’s summer starts on an airfield in any idyllic country town in Lithuania where her wealthy parents have escaped with her for the vacations. She is watching an air-show with some spectacular daredevil aeronautical displays by small private planes when she catches the attention of Auste who is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a free flight. There is an immediate attraction between the two girls and so Auste fixes it that Sangaile is the winner, but she rushes off quickly without collecting her prize.Sangaile is a rather odd rather morose girl who seems to resent her parents who leave her to her own devices in her stark barren bedroom and she makes a point of punishing herself frequently with self-inflicted cuts. She is also obsessed with becoming a stunt pilot too even though she suffers from vertigo. Auste on the other hand is a real livewire and despite having to work in the canteen at the local power plant, runs with a quite a bohemian pack once she sheds her uniform to go play. She is also something of a free-spirited artist and as she starts to hang out with Sangaile, she designs some really wacky outfits to photograph her new friend in some highly stylised poses. It also acts as a reason to have Sangaile to undress, and it’s on one of these occasions that she is naked, that they take their relationship one step further.
An unsure Sangaile also makes out one night with a local boy but that soon has her hurrying back to Auste. There is an amazing chemistry between the them and although Auste, the older of the two may have some experience, for Sangaile it is very obviously her first love and she starts to actually come alive. Auste even persuades Sangaile to actually take another chance and actually go up in a two seater plane, but this is one experience that even she cannot ensure a happy outcome.
This second feature from filmmaker Alanté Kavaïté is achingly beautiful with it’s lush country landscapes which seems the perfect setting for this gentle coming-of-age story. She captures the sheer innocence of these two young girls who although they come from different sides of the tracks and have opposing personalities, still seem a perfect match. It’s helped by the perfect casting of two newbie rather quirky actresses Julija Steponaityte and Aiste Dirziute who turn in such convincingly real performances. The graphic scenes of intimacy between the two of them have elicited some ill-founded comparisons with the very explicit ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’. The Summer of Sangaile is much more innocent on so any levels, and all the better for it too.