In Departure the headlights of a car making its way through the countryside pierce the pitch black of night – Beatrice (Juliet Stevenson) and her teenage son Elliot (Alex Lawther) arrive at their holiday home in the south of France to pack their belongings and vacate the premises as the house is up for sale. Elliot’s parents are divorcing and the atmosphere is tense so Elliot seeks solace by walking over to the village where he finds quiet spots to write in his notebook. He’s a romantic, a dreamer and an aspiring writer but he’s also trying to figure himself out.
One day, whilst on his wanders, he bumps into Clément (Phénix Brossard), a slightly older, handsome boy who’s visiting his aunt in the village. As Elliot spots the French hottie stripping down to his undies and jump off a bridge in the reservoir’s river for a swim, it’s immediately clear how Cupid’s arrow has struck him. But Clément is more than a sexy, brooding young man with a black leather jacket always working to fix a motorbike. As the two boys start hanging out and get to know each other, we learn that Clément has his own fair share of family drama to deal with. When Elliot brings the new friend home, the French boy’s impact on Beatrice and Elliot’s relationship will be the catalyst for the soul-searching that constitutes the backbone of the film and will change these people’s lives forever.
“A sensitive, sensual and occasionally amusing portrait of teenaged obsession with a winning turn from Lawther.”
— Anna Smith, Empire
“Steggall and Lawther succeed in putting an individual spin on the familiar pain of adolescence.”
— Charles Gant, Screen Daily
“Writer-director Andrew Steggall’s delicately woven debut feature is a coming of age drama with a difference.”
— Allan Hunter, List Film
Did You Know?
Writer/director Andrew Steggall started his career as an actor, having trained at London’s Central School Of Speech and Drama and then turned to theatre directing. He has written and directed four short films before venturing into features which already earned him attention and awards at various film festivals. Steggall has called Departure a personal film, a mythologised eulogy to love and loss drawing on a variety of sources. – “My hope is that the exploration of both the mother and son’s transformation will lend the story an element of universality and make it resonate both with a young audience on the cusp of their own unfurling experience and with an older audience, conscious of the wall we build to hold back the reservoir of desires that we fear might otherwise overcome us.” Review our Gay Themed Films Here