Damien and Thomas attend the same grammar school class. They cannot stand each other and whenever verbal insults fail to do enough damage they take a swing at each other. Yet they could just as easily be friends. Damien’s mother Marianne is a country doctor and his father a military pilot on a tour of duty abroad. Thomas is of Maghrebi descent and is the adopted son of a farming family living on a remote farm in the mountains. After several miscarriages the farmer’s wife is expecting again and, since her pregnancy promises to be a difficult one, Marianne invites the withdrawn boy to come and stay with them for a while. Damien and Thomas find themselves having to live under the same roof ... André Techiné has already taken part in the Berlinale Competition several times with films such as Les temps qui changent (2005) and Les témoins (2007). In Quand on a 17 ans he explores what it is like to grow up in different social environments in this portrait of two confused youths trying to govern their emotions. A rugged village in the mountains of south-western France as the seasons pass becomes the psychological landscape of the relationship between two young men which vacillates between disdain and attraction.