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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
"Dupont-Lajoie" easily passes for Yves Boisset's best work.One can say the demonstration is ponderous ,one cannot deny its absolute efficiency.There's in this ruthless plot a spiral of violence which grabs the audience and pins them down till the last pictures.
A petit bourgeois,Lajoie,(Jean Carmet's finest performance) ,go camping by the seaside with his missus and his son.There he meets up with friends whose daughter Brigitte (Isabelle Huppert:it's the movie that put her on the map)has a gentle romance with the boy.Probably sexually frustrated,Lajoie tries to rape Brigitte and kills her.And there's a shanty town for emigrated workers not far from here...
The critics generally did not like it ,calling it a caricature:but since we've seen worse in real life.On the other hand, the audience made it a cult movie in France,quite rightly so.The depiction of these average Frenchmen on vacation rings true and Yves Boisset does not fall into the -all of them b...- trap:the "hero"'s son attitude shows the positive side of the human nature.
There's also a formidable spoof on these stupid "games" which the television organizes for the vacationers.Jean-Pierre Marielle ,as Leo Tartaffione ,a self-important emcee , is incredibly funny.
Maybe the last scene is questionable.But do not let it prevent you from enjoying the rest .Relatively speaking,it's the French "big carnival".
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