Directed: Pier Giuseppe Murgia
Country: Italy, Germany
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Laura (Lara Wendel) and Fabrizio (Martin Loeb) have been meeting summers in the forest by her parents summer home. Fabrizio's favourite game is "King of the Forest" with Laura as his queen. This summer new aspects enter into the plot as the kids are growing up. The film well represents them as part child, part adult. Part naive, part knowing. Laura is falling in love with Fabrizio and vise-versa.
Fabrizio has also been developing a cruel streak to his personality. He excelerates his torment of Laura in many ways, including tying her up and putting a snake on her and killing a pet bird. One day they climb the "Blue Mountain and discover ancient building ruins. Exploring these they find a cave. Inside, Fabrizio seduces Laura.
Fabrizio's cruel streak is boosted by his new sexual confidence. At one point he turns their second love-making with her into a somewhat over the borderline attempted rape scene. He does relent when she makes it clear she is not interested. I got the impression she would have complied if he proceeded romantically as he had before, but this was him taking her, not seducing her. She stays with him, asking, "Why can't you be gentle?"
Things go from bad to worse when they meet Sylvia (Eva Ionesco). Unlike the previously virginal Laura, Sylvia is well versed sexually and truly sadistic. Using both of these qualities, Sylvia draws Fabrizio into her 'world'. Sylvia quickly replaces Laura as Fabrizio's queen, demoting Laura to servant and victim, though there is also friendship. Laura, reluctant to leave her old friend and new lover, sticks around and becomes the target of the duos ever progressing cruelty. At one point, the duo 'hunt' Laura with bows and arrows and at another, pretend to throw her off a high ledge.
At the end of summer, with the girls talking about going back to school, Fabrizio takes Sylvia to the ruins for the first time. All three of them go into the cave to escape a thunderstorm and Fabrizio pulls the same stunt on Sylvia that he pulled on Laura, pretending to be lost, to get the girls to stay the night with him. Sylvia breaks down revealing what a little girl she really is. Fabrizio repeatedly begs Sylvia to stay with him forever. In the morning, Sylvia is still lost in the cave and rejecting Fabrizio's pleas to stay with him. She becomes hysterical and he stabs her. It is the only way he won't lose her. He stays with the dead body and gives Laura the flashlight so she can find her way out.