Tenuous relationships strained by current murders related to past kidnapping-death
"Noir comme le souvenir" (1995) aka "Black for Remembrance" is a mixture of mystery, giallo and neo-noir. It opens 17 years ago with the kidnapping-burning-decapitation of a 6-year old girl named Garance. THe murderer was never found. Moving to the present, the mother (Jane Birkin) experiences events that lead her to believe that Garance has returned. Her emotional turmoil and exasperation are evident, for who can believe such a thing? The mystery grows when corpses start piling up, in giallo fashion.
Meanwhile the neo-noir aspect of the story pervades everything. All the characters live in a prosperous world of fine houses and furnishings, beautiful surroundings and seemingly caring relationships. The relationships are weak and tenuous, however, strained and stained by jealousy, greed and sexual passions. The kidnapping-murder years ago was a sign of the instability and evil lurking beneath the placid exterior and joys of everyday life. The story explores in some detail the incapacities and failings of everyone whom this past and the current tragedies are affecting.
In my opinion, the story doesn't work all that well as a thriller, which is the genre category provided by IMDb. It works better, as I have said, as a mystery-giallo-neo-noir. The moral fabric of this story is that past sins can bring heavy punishment, greater than one might expect.
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