2001 was a productive year for Catherine Breillat. Six months after Fat Girl was premièred in Berlin, she was able to present Brève traversée at the Venice festival. Both films look at budding sexuality and treachery. Breillat's work is sometimes regarded as cold and harsh, but it is also warm and enchanting. Her approach to (female) sexuality is always candid and unaffected.On the night boat from Le Havre to Portsmouth, Thomas and Alice meet each other: the sixteenyearold boy and the thirtyyearold women sit down at the same table. Alice, who was at first distant, becomes a flirt, and Thomas becomes increasingly selfassured and finally dares to approach Alice sexually. Thomas loses his innocence.Breillat about what attracted her to make this film: '...to film a boy during "his first time", to film him as a girl. The surface. Nostalgia for Transatlantic ferries, a noman'sland between two coasts where there's a lawlessness that allows you to have adventures outside your real life, in the shelter of a parenthetical remark. Describing a passion within the unity of time and place of the classical tragedy, creating a stage on which the eternal battle between man and woman is fought out. The warm Latin disposition versus the AngloSaxon, superficially cold. The heart of an encounter...'