When It Melts

Director: Veerle Baetens
Screenwriters: Veerle Baetens, Maarten Loix

Institute History

  • 2023 Sundance Film Festival


Eva struggles with human connection. Now that her younger sister Tess is moving out, and long estranged from her neglectful parents, the fragile Eva is finally truly alone. Already reeling, she’s instinctively revulsed by a social media post announcing the memorial celebration for a long-passed childhood friend. She emotionally recalls her sensitive 13-year-old self in the wake of his death, embracing her role as the third musketeer to a pair of slightly older boys, and how the adolescent riddle game the trio played against the local girls took a deeply unsound turn. Eva decides to return to her home village and confront the scorching summer that altered her life.

Director Veerle Baetens’ provocative feature debut is an explosively close-to-the-bone illustration of the toxic confusion and cruelty of adolescence and an unflinching portrait of the lasting impact of untreated trauma. Rosa Marchant and Charlotte De Bruyne give heartbreakingly juxtaposed, committed performances, as the film compels us to witness how the affection-starved, vulnerable young Eva was molded into her brittle, isolated adult self — past and present colliding in one inevitably tragic trajectory.

This film contains sexual content and sexual violence. Not recommended for audiences under 18.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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