The First Time I Turned Twenty

The First Time I Turned Twenty (original title: La Première fois que j'ai eu 20 ans) is a 2004 French comedy film directed and written by Lorraine Lévy.

The First Time I Turned Twenty
Theatrical release poster
La Première fois que j'ai eu 20 ans
Directed byLorraine Lévy
Produced byHélène Delale
Bruno Pésery
Written byLorraine Lévy
Based onLa Première fois que j'ai eu seize ans
by Susie Morgenstern
StarringMarilou Berry
Catherine Jacob
Serge Riaboukine
Music bySébastien Souchois
CinematographyEmmanuel Soyer
Edited bySophie Reine
Arena Films
France 3 Cinéma
Distributed byPathé
Release date
  • 6 October 2004 (2004-10-06)
Running time
98 minutes
Budget$4.4 million[1]
Box office$984.000[2]


The action takes place in the early 1960s in Paris suburbs. Maurice Papon was Prefect of Paris Police for several years in the capital of a French company that has returned some racism in the minds.

Hannah (Marilou Berry) Goldman, Jewish, sixteen, two very pretty sisters and parents who love her. But she is not happy, assigned a very overweight it is ugly and deeply nourishes a terrible complex at the beauty of her sisters and that of her school friend. But Hannah has two great qualities her sisters admit to not having any of it and envy: she's smart, and she has a talent for music.

Wishing to make a career in music, she chose an instrument that looks like her ... bass, an instrument that is traditionally already a "male instrument". But hermusical nonconformity does not stop there: she dreams of entering the jazz band at her high school. This year the jazz band needs a new bassist. But there has never been any women in jazz band established now for many years by the high school music teacher, and in addition this instrument is traditionally held by a man and a woman to claim this instrument in a training deeply shocked all high school boys.

Or in the selection contest it performs a benefit much higher than that of the only other competitor. She won the selection competition, to the delight of her family. But her four musicians comrades, viscerally misogynist, very attached to the male tradition of their training, and also singularly lacking all subtlety as any courtesy, will try everything to discourage it. Beginning immediately by reminding her that she is a woman and they do not want a woman in their training, they will harass morally to undermine gradually go one evening to plot a sinister Nazi symbol on her scores played during a concert, and what is even worse in her eyes ... they try to humiliate by attacking his instrument.

Struggling against the discouragement month after month and use all her intelligence and patience, stimulated by her uncle, she will eventually win the admiration of part of the group of four boys.


  • Marilou Berry as Hannah Goldman
  • Catherine Jacob as Madame Goldman
  • Serge Riaboukine as Meyer Goldman
  • Pierre Arditi as Uncle Jérémy
  • Nathalie Courval as Aunt Lucie
  • Myriam Moraly as Judith
  • Stéphanie Pasterkamp as Sandra
  • Raphaël Personnaz as Louis
  • Michel Vuillermoz as M. Conrad
  • Laurent Spielvogel as M. Troutman
  • Catherine Arditi as Madame Sarah
  • Adrien Jolivet as David
  • Guillaume Destrem as Jérémy's lover
  • Romain Vissol as Jo
  • Didier Becchetti as Jip
  • Sophie Guiter as Mlle Appelbaum
  • Erwan Demaure as Denis
  • Renan Mazéas as Emile
  • Joséphine Serre as Myriam
  • Maroussia Dubreuil as Ruth
  • Louis Descols as Robert
  • Stéphane Rugraff as Jean-Jean


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