In 1856, fresh from life with nuns in an orphanage school, Alexina Barbin comes to a coastal village in La Rochelle to teach the village girls. She is deeply religious. She shares the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Philippe Vuillemin ...
Alexina Barbin / Camille Barbin
Valérie Stroh ...
Sara
Véronique Silver ...
Madame Avril
Bernard Freyd ...
Armand
Marianne Basler ...
Marie Avril
Pierre Vial ...
Priest
Philippe Clévenot ...
Doctor Chesnet
Isabelle Gruault ...
Josephine
Lucienne Hamon ...
Hotel manager
Claude Bouchery ...
School inspector
Olivier Sabran ...
Doctor
Michel Amphoux ...
Hotel manager
Anne Cornaly ...
Alexina's mother
Vincent Pinel ...
A doctor
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Storyline

In 1856, fresh from life with nuns in an orphanage school, Alexina Barbin comes to a coastal village in La Rochelle to teach the village girls. She is deeply religious. She shares the classroom and a bedroom with the young and vivacious Sara, with whom she falls in love. Alexina has another secret: her gender is mysterious. She and Sara begin a scandalous love affair, but Alexina seeks marriage and social acceptance. She discloses her secrets to the village priest, to her mother, to the bishop, and to the bishop's physician. After the church and court rule on her petition, marriage to Sara becomes Alexina's sole purpose and hope. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

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10 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alexina  »

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1.66 : 1
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Philippe Vuillemin: Not only an artist but also a good actor.
13 February 2008 | by (Paris,France) – See all my reviews

If ever serious viewers would like to remember one of René Féret's most personal films "Mystère Alexina",it would definitely be for the acting prowess of French comic strip artist Philippe Vuillemin.He is absolutely incredible as the lead character who is confused about his/her sexuality.Philippe Vuillemin is so good that he outsmarts easily acting abilities of other actors especially that of Valerie Stroh.For this film René Féret has taken us to medieval times.Those were the times when French society,like most of the other societies was prudish in nature.In a way,this film is a serious take on sexuality in ancient times which was fiercely guarded.One of the most important questions raised by this film concerns ignorance about sexuality.It must be ascertained whether human sexuality can be dissimulated.Science comes to rescue when religious authorities are challenged to stake a claim about lead character's sexuality.For a film which might appear as a sensual love story to many viewers it is quite an achievement to minimize its risks of achieving an easy to please end.This is precisely the virtue of this film directed by one of French cinema's most under rated authors.


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