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As every summer, Georges Lajoie, his wife Ginette and grown-up son Léon go on holiday to Loulou's campsite. They join old friends, the Schumachers and the Colins. Brigitte Colin, the daughter, is quite a pretty young girl now. One day, Georges rapes and murders her. He hides the body near the barracks of the immigrant Arab workers. The racism of the campers will do the rest... A virulent lampoon against the average Frenchman's racism. Written by
Vacationing with his family, Jean Carmet murders his friend's daughter
The first half of this picture is nonviolent, as it strongly and mercilessly satirizes the French middle class on vacation. But it also works in their many prejudices to the Algerians in their midst. Epitomizing this is Jean Carmet's character (Georges Lajoie), a relatively well off Parisian who owns a little bar and restaurant. Every year he takes his wife and son to a seaside campground in the south. This year he has bought a new camper. There they meet those whom they have known for years, including Colin and his pert daughter Brigitte, played by a young Isabelle Huppert.
At the halfway mark, the film turns noir and stays that way until the final frame. Lajoie can't keep his eyes off of Brigitte. When he encounters her in an isolated spot sunbathing nude, he ends up raping and killing her. He easily keeps this secret, but manages to move the body and cast suspicion on the Algerians who work at a nearby construction site.
This leads to more violence involving Colin and all those common native French men at the camp site whose hatreds overflow. Inspector Boulard, played in a nice turn by Jean Bouise, comes into the case, very conscientious. The authorities above him, however, have other ideas.
This is a well-fashioned and realistic story with strong messages. It's strong on suspense in its second half.
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