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Memoirs of a French Whore More at IMDbPro »La dérobade (original title)

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Strap Yourselves In (it's a bumpy ride)

Author: Seamus2829 from United States
26 December 2007

I first saw this disturbing film at one of our local art galleries that also screened all of the new independent & foreign films that our local multi screen cinemas wouldn't touch with a ten foot projector. The story deals with a young woman under the spell of love with her new boyfriend who has a slimy,scummy undercurrent (read that as a pimp). Over the period of a few short years, she is transformed into a street wise,hardened hooker. We are treated to sequences of her dealing with some of the worst street scum. If it were not for the top drawer performances of it's cast, I would easily pass this off for smarmy soft core porn, but for some reason, Miou Miou seemed to charm her way into my heart (and my sympathy). 'La Derobade' (known in the 'Memoirs Of A French Whore')may not be everybody's cup of tea,but the strong of heart will find some relevance in it.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Life and anger of a Parisian prostitute

Author: andrabem-1 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
13 November 2011

A girl, Marie (Miou-Miou) is led into prostitution by her pimp boyfriend, Gerard (Daniel Duval). She must not only give money to him but to the gangsters that explore him as well. Marie, together with a friend, Maloup (Maria Schneider), will try to become independent. They start to work the streets on their own but they will meet physical and sexual violence. They return to the brothels, and Marie goes back to her pimp, but Gerard has his caprices and wants more and more – he's in a spiral downwards and he's leading Marie with him. There's seems to be no escape.

"La Derobade" is a grim film – it shows the streets, the city scum and the violence that is an ever-constant threat to the girls who work the streets. It's a sad life.

The film is based on the memoirs written by Jeanne Cordelier. Miou-Miou is Marie - her acting is nothing short of luminous. And the musical score gives the film a reflexive, melancholic tone.

"La Derobade" is unique in the genre – it is at the same time poetic and realistic. A neglected gem that deserves more recognition.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Whoring ain't easy,

Author: MR GORYSSIMO from Toulouse, France
27 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's put it that way : Daniel Duval's "La Derobade" is simply one the best movies ever made about prostitution. It's a shame that it's not recognized like the masterpiece that it is yet. First of all, The plot is very basic and effective. We get to see the life of a young woman named Marie Mage (the great Miou-Miou)from the moment she gets "turned out" by a pathetic pimp called Gerard (Daniel Duval) until she gets rid of the bastard. Of course, we also get to see what's going on in between the two events and it's just tough, to say the least. If some people are dumb enough to think that prostitution is glamor and that pimps are just gigolos, they are in for one hell of a rough ride. What that movie says is " forget about the easy money, the great sex, the fancy cars and expensive clothes. What we got in store is nothing but dirty reality". Dirty indeed...

A nice girl coming from a poor family tries to make it on its own working in a shoes store. Unfortunately her older sister is already hooking and it's not long before the girl herself is tricked into whoring by a slick talking pimp. She then has to face the worse scums and events that you can think about. From sadistic johns torturing her to cruel gangsters exploiting her pimp's gambling habits, they are all there to abuse her. Yet she stands and becomes tougher, stronger. So even though the streets (other prostitutes included) try to keep her down, she eventually makes it to the free world.

Adding to darkness and the realism of the plot, the technical side is perfectly handled. From the cinematography to the acting, everything is on point. From the actors faces (both small and big roles) to the settings (cheap bordellos, night clubs, stinking streets...), it all helps taking you into a scary world that really is not far from home. Exploitation Flicks made by true artists are the best because they call for the peeping Tom in you and make him pay by showing him just what he wants to see. That's right, See " The Memoirs Of A French Whore"! By doing so, you'll sure be thrilled and moved and maybe you'll learn something.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: Bob Taylor ( from Canada
18 April 2009

Prostitution is a subject that has been ill-treated in film. Either the subject matter is too shocking for prudish censor boards, or the scripts have foundered in sentimentality and silliness. There is the documentary approach: Godard tried it twice in Vivre Sa vie and Two or three things..., with no great success. There are the romantic-surrealist or burlesque approaches: Belle de jour, McCabe and Mrs Miller, Pretty Baby, Whore, Irma La Douce. These films have their partisans, but they don't satisfy me. The violence and squalor of whoring just aren't brought out and made real. This is a trade that can lead to the death (or incapacitation) of the woman who practices it. Daniel Duval is not a director to stand with Bunuel, Malle, Altman or Godard, but at least he understands the grittiness and desperation of the material he is dealing with.

Miou-Miou won the César for Best Actress for her portrayal of Marie-Mage; it is well deserved. She brings out the desperate clinging to her pimp Gérard (excellently played by Duval), and makes real the symbiotic relations between the two. Gérard, for all his creepiness, is really the best thing she has ever seen.

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1 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

there is no such a thing as half whore, right?

Author: didiermustntdie
9 November 2010

there are two kinds of whore, nature whore and forced whore, the former kind prevails,there is no cut rated whores I think. forced one is not whore morally

the message of the film is kind like being a whore isn't bad,what's bad is being a tool of males...

so guess I cannot agree with the director, the duvall guy might have huge experience in whores, but he couldn't give more useful info than a ten years old.

not the worst film about sex, routine for my huge film collection and daily viewing.

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9 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

A late-seventies riposte to feminism.

Author: Darragh O' Donoghue ( from dublin, ireland
26 April 2000

I hope I can say this and stay within IMDb guidelines, but this is not a very nice film, despite its pretensions to Bresson or Fassbinder. It purports to tell a harrowing story from its female protagonist's point of view - a woman prostituted by her boyfriend becomes both a slave and one of the damned in an inescapable man-made hell - but all the time violence on women is fetishised and exploited, while that on men is chastely elided. It is the duty of filmmakers to expose repression and corruption, not collude in it.

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