IMDb > Story of Women (1988)
Une affaire de femmes
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Story of Women (1988) More at IMDbPro »Une affaire de femmes (original title)


Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   2,037 votes »
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Down 38% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Colo Tavernier (scenario & adaptation) &
Claude Chabrol (scenario & adaptation) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for Story of Women on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1990 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
During World War II, in occupied France, a woman of limited schooling raises two children in a ratty flat... See more » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Abortion in Nazi-occupied France See more (13 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Isabelle Huppert ... Marie

François Cluzet ... Paul
Marie Trintignant ... Lulu / Lucie
Nils Tavernier ... Lucien
Lolita Chammah ... Mouche #2
Aurore Gauvin ... Mouche #1
Guillaume Foutrier ... Pierrot #1
Nicolas Foutrier ... Pierrot #2
Marie Bunel ... Ginette

Dominique Blanc ... Jasmine
Evelyne Didi ... Fernande
Dani ... Loulou
François Maistre ... Le président Lamarre-Coudray
Vincent Gauthier ... Me Fillon / Judge Fillon
Myriam David ... Rachel
Pierre-François Dumeniaud ... Le patron du Café
Bernard Houdeville ... Le paysan
Claire Conty ... La coiffeuse

Thomas Chabrol ... Le garçon de café
Catherine Deville ... Yvonne
Sylvie Flepp ... Berthe
François Lafont ... Grocer
Pierre Martot ... L'allemand
Jurgen Mash ... Officier allemand
Jean-Claude Lecas ... Robert
Roland Shön ... Le vieille homme
Anne-Marie Etienne ... Renée
Valérie Leboutte ... Marcelle
Fabienne Chaudat ... La patiente
Jacques Vincent ... Le résistant
Pascal Guégan
Jeannine Hames ... La cantatrice
Bernard Cherboeuf ... L'inspecteur
Elisabeth Sender ... Francine (as Elizabeth Sender)
Huguette Maillard ... Monique
Valérie Soudant ... Armelle
Lise Roy ... La garde
Jean-Michel Noirey ... Bailiff (as Jean-Michel Noiret)
Madeleine Marie ... Albertinie
Caroline Berg ... Hélène Fillon
Colette Charbonneau
Jacques Brunet ... Col. Chabert
Henri Attal ... Un poicier au procès
Jean-François Klein
Jean-Marc Roulot
Franck de la Personne ... L'avocat stagiaire Martinet (as Frank Lapersonne)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michel Beaune ... Le procureur Mourier / Attorney Mourier (scenes deleted) (uncredited)
Louis Ducreux ... Père Mourier (scenes deleted) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Claude Chabrol 
 
Writing credits
Colo Tavernier (scenario & adaptation) &
Claude Chabrol (scenario & adaptation)

Colo Tavernier (dialogue) (as Colo Tavernier O'Hagen)

Francis Szpiner (book)

Produced by
Marin Karmitz .... producer
 
Original Music by
Matthieu Chabrol 
 
Cinematography by
Jean Rabier 
 
Film Editing by
Monique Fardoulis 
 
Production Design by
Françoise Benoît-Fresco 
 
Costume Design by
Corinne Jorry 
 
Production Management
Yvon Crenn .... production manager
 
Sound Department
Jean-Berthieu Chabrol .... sound recordist
Maurice Gilbert .... sound
Jean-Bernard Thomasson .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dominique Robert .... best boy grip
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Une affaire de femmes" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
108 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Based upon the true story of Marie-Louise Giraud.See more »
Soundtrack:
Alla En El Rancho GrandeSee more »

FAQ

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31 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
Abortion in Nazi-occupied France, 3 January 2001
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States

Claude Charbrol's stark and unsentimental masterpiece about the last woman to be executed in France--she was guillotined for performing abortions in Nazi-occupied France during World War II--forces us to see a side of war not often depicted. What does a woman with two little children do when her country is occupied by the brute forces of the enemy? How is she to find enough to eat, to buy the increasingly scarce and costly necessities of life? How is she to find joy in life? Women often turn to prostitution during such times, but Maire Latour does not. Instead she aborts the foetuses of the prostitutes and of other women impregnated, often by the Nazis. In a sense this is her "resistence." However she prospers and takes up with a Nazi collaborator. In the process she reduces her husband to frustration and humiliation.

Isabelle Huppert as Marie Latour is mesmerizing in a role that allows her talent full latitude. She is clear-headed and sly as a business woman, warm and ordinary as a mother, cold and brutal as a wife, childish and careless as an adulteress, resourceful and fearless as an abortionist, and unrepentant as she awaits the executioner (foreshadowed, by the way, by her son, who wants to be an executioner when he grows up). Francois Cluzet plays her husband Paul, and he is also very good, especially at rousing our pity. Charbrol makes it clear that both Marie and Paul are victims, not only of war, but of their divergent natures. Paul wants the love of Marie, but she wants only a man that represents success and power, a man who is clean-shaven, not the menial worker that he is. Marie Trintignant is interesting and convincing as a prostitute who becomes Marie Latour's friend and business associate.

While abortion is indeed "Une affaire de femmes" this film is about much more than that. No doubt the title is there to emphasize Charbrol's point that men really do not (did not then, and do not now) really understand abortion and why it is sometimes a horrible and abject necessity. When Marie is taken to Paris for a show trial she exclaims to a woman in jail with her, referring to the court that will pass judgment on her, "It's all men...how could men understand?" We can see that men really can't, and that precisely is what this movie is all about: showing us just how horrible pregnancy can be under the circumstances of enemy occupation.

A secondary story here, not quite a subplot, is Paul's story. What does a man do when he and his children are dependent on a woman who doesn't love him, a woman who rejects him and even goes so far as to arrange for the cleaning woman to sleep with him? It is not only Marie who humiliates him, but it is the defeat of his country, the easy surrender to the Nazis that has so reduced him. This is made clear in a scene late in the film between two lawyers who voice their shame as Frenchmen in a time of defeat.

What Paul does is not pretty (and I won't reveal it here), but so great is the provocation that one understands his behavior and can forgive him.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

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