Story of Women

1988 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.5 10 3781

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 11, 2020 at 08:51 PM

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
993.73 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
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1.8 GB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DeeNine-2 10 / 10

Abortion in Nazi-occupied France

Claude Charbrol's stark and unsentimental masterpiece about the last woman to be executed in France--she was guillotined for performing abortions in Nazi-occupied France during World War II--forces us to see a side of war not often depicted. What does a woman with two little children do when her country is occupied by the brute forces of the enemy? How is she to find enough to eat, to buy the increasingly scarce and costly necessities of life? How is she to find joy in life? Women often turn to prostitution during such times, but Maire Latour does not. Instead she aborts the foetuses of the prostitutes and of other women impregnated, often by the Nazis. In a sense this is her "resistence." However she prospers and takes up with a Nazi collaborator. In the process she reduces her husband to frustration and humiliation.

Isabelle Huppert as Marie Latour is mesmerizing in a role that allows her talent full latitude. She is clear-headed and sly as a business woman, warm and ordinary as a mother, cold and brutal as a wife, childish and careless as an adulteress, resourceful and fearless as an abortionist, and unrepentant as she awaits the executioner (foreshadowed, by the way, by her son, who wants to be an executioner when he grows up). Francois Cluzet plays her husband Paul, and he is also very good, especially at rousing our pity. Charbrol makes it clear that both Marie and Paul are victims, not only of war, but of their divergent natures. Paul wants the love of Marie, but she wants only a man that represents success and power, a man who is clean-shaven, not the menial worker that he is. Marie Trintignant is interesting and convincing as a prostitute who becomes Marie Latour's friend and business associate.

While abortion is indeed "Une affaire de femmes" this film is about much more than that. No doubt the title is there to emphasize Charbrol's point that men really do not (did not then, and do not now) really understand abortion and why it is sometimes a horrible and abject necessity. When Marie is taken to Paris for a show trial she exclaims to a woman in jail with her, referring to the court that will pass judgment on her, "It's all could men understand?" We can see that men really can't, and that precisely is what this movie is all about: showing us just how horrible pregnancy can be under the circumstances of enemy occupation.

A secondary story here, not quite a subplot, is Paul's story. What does a man do when he and his children are dependent on a woman who doesn't love him, a woman who rejects him and even goes so far as to arrange for the cleaning woman to sleep with him? It is not only Marie who humiliates him, but it is the defeat of his country, the easy surrender to the Nazis that has so reduced him. This is made clear in a scene late in the film between two lawyers who voice their shame as Frenchmen in a time of defeat.

What Paul does is not pretty (and I won't reveal it here), but so great is the provocation that one understands his behavior and can forgive him.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

Reviewed by pegd-1 7 / 10

A Sad Affair

With cool detachment and a subtle touch of horror, Claude Chabrol dissects the story of a woman who was guillotined during the Nazi occupation of France. One of his strengths as a director is that he allows the movie goer to form his/her own thoughts and opinions about the issues at hand. He is not a proselytizer.

The film covers a lot of ground: illegal abortion, collaborating with the enemy, parenting, marital communication, greed and a slew of other human weaknesses. All of this against the backdrop of an occupied France, a country who witnessed the horrors of WWI and never fully recovered, and whose WWII soul (what is left of it) has been torn apart.

Isabelle Huppert does a fine job interpreting Marie LaTour, the woman in question. Marie is not the most sympathetic of characters. In fact, most of the major characters are not "sympathique".(My favorite character is the prostitute Lulu, acted by Marie Trintignant.)

All in all a well directed, well structured film about a tragic period in the lives of the French people. But you be the judge.

Trivia: "Vera Drake" and "L'Affaire de Femmes" both begin in apartments which have the the same god awful green walls.

Reviewed by museumofdave 9 / 10

Compelling Portrait of Morality During Wartime: How Are Criminals Created?

This earns a high rating simply for the gritty, persuasive performance from it's star, Isabelle Huppert, who is called upon to be a mother and an abortionist, to be a lover and a murderer, to be a free spirit and a prisoner of Nazi tyranny; Huppert may never gain your sympathy, and doesn't play for it, but she should gain your understanding as she plays a true-to-life story of a woman severely punished by the French government for a woman's crime that the dominant culture can not countenance because of the political atmosphere at the time--all this, and it's a gripping story,too--but not at all a cheerer-upper.

When you have finished watching this film, you may find Huppert's character hasn't quite finished with you, an observant, quiet reminder of the consequences of our actions. Hers is a haunting performance.

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