‘Love According to Dalva’ Review: A Daring Portrait of the Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

‘Love According to Dalva’ Review: A Daring Portrait of the Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse
One need only look to France’s literary heroes, politicians, and films to see the country’s obsession with young girls — and its penchant for protecting pedophiles. In 2020, the French writer Gabriel Matzneff was outed as the country’s Jeffrey Epstein, after writing about his sexual relations with minors for decades with little consequence. A year later, prominent French intellectual and politician Olivier Duhamel admitted to sexually abusing his stepson following publication of a memoir by his stepdaughter Camille Kouchner. As the last generation to grow up with such laissez-faire attitudes about child abuse comes of age as artists, they are leading the charge on shifting mores as the #MeToo reckoning finally comes for France.

That maturation is apparent in the first feature film from writer/director Emmanuelle Nicot, “Love According to Dalva,” an audacious and unsettling portrait of a young girl dealing with the immediate after-effects of sexual abuse
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