How to Have Sex
directed by Molly Manning Walker, UK 2023, 98'
An energetic mix of party film with a moving coming-of-age story and an intriguing portrait of Generation Z. Brilliantly acted and dynamically realized, it tells the story of a generation – now in their teens – for whom sexual freedom means both lack of boundaries and huge pressure. Is it possible to build intimacy in a world where ‘sex & fun’ is the sales-driving mantra?
How to Have Sex, directed by 29-year-old Molly Manning Walker, is – along with Aftersun and Past Lives – one of the best female directorial debuts of recent years. It’s a story of three girls who, while waiting for their school exam results, go on a ‘best holiday ever’ in Greece. They party until they drop and plan to make one of them finally lose her virginity. It seems that we’ve heard this cinematic story many times before: wild holidays, wild fun, wild desires. However, this sunny picture about a crazy summer break imperceptibly becomes a story about first disappointments and initiation into the darker side of adolescence.
The film was enthusiastically received at Cannes by the audience, critics and the jury, winning the main award in the Un Certain Regard section. In the foreground, Mia McKenna-Bruce shines in the role of Tara, completely capturing the viewers’ attention. How to Have Sex is a brave and empathetic film that has the potential to become a hit and the voice of a generation.