Based on Ivan Turgeyev’s novella, Erste Liebe is about two young lovers in czarist Russia. One is a 21-year-old woman, the other a young man of sixteen. Things take a tragic turn as the girl falls in love with the boy’s father.
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A film of wasted potential. On the film's merits one can register Dominique Sanda's fine performance, in spite of poor support. Sven Nykvist's gifts are only moderately exploited, giving us, however, some fine moments of landscapes and decadent interiors. Although atmospheric at points, it is seriously marred by a rather inchoate mise-en-scène and a particularly cacophonous modernist and tediously mellow score.