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Coming-of-age tales are among the meat and potatoes of film.The film begins by locating 18-year-old Lina Karam (Manal Issa) in the Paris suburbs.Having sidestepped sexual assault, Lina's still in a tight spot.Off, charming, handsome and perhaps no more than a decade older than herself, Jean-Marc introduces Lina to the physical and emotional pleasures of sex.There are plenty of men in Paris, of course, and it's not long before Lina hooks up with Julien (Damien Chapelle).Like all the men (indeed, most of the characters) in this film, Rafael finds Lina irresistible, prompting more well-choreographed moments of intimacy for the camera.Though its largely episodic plot does seem to go on a bit longer than it needs to do, "Parisienne" is a highly watchable movie – not least because of the striking visage of Manal Issa, an engineer by training, whose assured turn as Lina is surely the year's great discovery for Lebanese cinema.Arbid's story is uninterested in suggesting that family and ethnicity embody a community that's somehow complementary to that of Paris' cosmopolitan secularism.
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