Review: How to Have Sex is a potent, phenomenal portal into our lived experiences

A winner at the Cannes Film Festival last year and of the BAFTA Rising Star award just last week for lead actress Mia McKenna-Bruce, critically acclaimed British film How to Have Sex has just arrived in New Zealand cinemas.

A polaroid memory buried deep, steeped in a quiet shame and reeking of disappointment, here we have the kind of coming-of-age story which has the power to connect to the conversation around consent in a way I've not seen before.

It's quite miraculous.

Three besties land in a Greek resort party town on a holiday mission to do exactly that: party. For Tara, she has a bigger mission; the burden of her sexual inexperience weighs heavily and her pals are determined she loses her virginity.

In her filmmaking debut, British writer and director Molly Manning Walker draws from her own life and memories as she and her terrific cast reel us into the party then inexorably roll us back out into the breaking dawn, sitting in the gutter surrounded by empty bottles, all of us somehow altered.

Bearing witness to the arrival of an important storyteller, someone who has something to say and knows how to say it, Molly Manning Walker is the real deal.

This film has an intuitive potency. As a portal into our lived experiences and of others around us, it is phenomenal.

Five stars.