6.7/10
238
6 user 1 critic

Red Kiss (1985)

Rouge baiser (original title)
1952, Paris. Nadia, a Red Diaper baby, has a sister, Polish parents, and at 15 is an active Communist. When cops beat her during an anti-American demonstration, she's rescued by a "Match" ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nadia
...
Stéphane
...
Bronka
...
Moishe
Laurent Arnal ...
Roland
Elsa Lunghini ...
Rosa
Audrey Lazzini ...
Henriette
Yves Nadot ...
André
Jodi Pavlis ...
Marion
Lionel Rocheman ...
M. Victor
Georges Staquet ...
L'Inspecteur du police
Francis Lax ...
Le client mécontent
Olivier Achard
Marcelle Barreau
Jac Berrocal
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Storyline

1952, Paris. Nadia, a Red Diaper baby, has a sister, Polish parents, and at 15 is an active Communist. When cops beat her during an anti-American demonstration, she's rescued by a "Match" photographer. As the friendship becomes a love affair and her slogans are tested by new knowledge and emotion, some of the Red youth want to expel her. When she goes with Stéphane to a seaside photo shoot, her father goes to the police. Stéphane faces charges, so leaving to cover the war in Indochina looks appealing. In a parallel story, Nadia's mother meets again her prewar lover, released from Siberia, who challenges the French Reds with very real scars and word of Stalin's anti-Semitism. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

27 November 1985 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Red Kiss  »

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(Fujicolor)
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User Reviews

Compelling and sweet, with an exquisite central performance
22 June 2000 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I had to sit up until 4 in the morning to watch this film but it was worth it. The kind of political film that most Western filmmakers don't dare to make, "Rouge Baiser" tells the story of a young Polish girl in 1950s Paris, caught between the obligations of family and the lure of powerful politics in the shape of the Communist Party. Nadia is first attracted by the charms of a photographer who pulls her from a street mêlée, but his influence is soon supplanted by that of the Party, leading to painful emotional clashes between Nadia and her mother.

It's a minor work, in truth, but it has stayed with me due mainly to the heartfelt work put in by Charlotte Valandrey in the lead role. Only 16 at the time, her compelling portrayal of Nadia is vulnerable and strong, beautiful and awkward - all you can ask from an actress acting out the complex passage into adulthood at such a sensitive time. Aside from her brilliant performance, Lambert Wilson is excellent as the enigmatic Stéphane, and Véra Belmont demonstrates superior skill in both the direction and the writing.

"Rouge Baiser" is a largely undiscovered gem, a film of rare craft and passion, with a feel for the dangers of its period and a genuine understanding of human urges both personal and political. It would be well worth seeking out.


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