Yuki (Noë Sampy) and Nina (Arielle Moutel) live in Paris. The two best friends would prefer to spend the holidays together. When Nina asks Yuki to go on vacation with her and her mother, it only seems like a matter of approval from Yuki’s parents. This question, on the other hand, has a completely unexpected effect and prompts Yuki’s mother to tell her daughter that she and her husband want to separate and that she wants to live with Yuki in Japan. Fear of separation prompts the two girls to do their utmost to bring Yuki’s parent closer together again. When this doesn’t seem like a solution, they decide to run away from home and live in the woods.
“Yuki & Nina” by directors Hippolyte Girardot (who has also taken on the role of Yuki’s father) and Nobuhiro Suwa, in very genuine cinematic language, deals with the emotions of a child when she is pulled out of her safe environment. What until recently seemed like a safe haven is now about to go up in flames. As a child you look for a solution to prevent this dramatic event (in this case the moving of Yuki to Japan and the loss of Nina as a girlfriend). The film cleverly follows the feelings and choices of Yuki, who is on the cusp of one of the biggest changes in her life and does not know how to survive without her best friend. For example, the scene in which Yuki writes a letter to her mother as a fairy to bring her parents back together in this way is very moving.
After Yuki and Nina have gone into the woods, not only the approach but also the whole character of the film changes. A somewhat uncanny and mysterious haze seems to hang over the film and the emotions can hardly be understood anymore. Unfortunately, this atmosphere does not amplify the complicated emotions, but rather detracts from them. The magical-realistic slot lacks its effect, partly due to the not very intriguing camera work. It will leave the viewer very dissatisfied.
“Yuki & Nina” is to some extent an interesting film that portrays the fate of a child during a broken relationship of her parents. Still, it is not an easy film to watch and the magical-realistic aspect of the final piece will not appeal to everyone.