[after the opening bar scene, the title sequence begins with the following in block letters: Les Cinemas de la Zone present the tragedy of a jobless butcher struggling to survive in the bowels of his nation
[SEUL CONTRE TOUS, literally, Alone Against All, is displayed one word at a time as the narrator begins
:To each his own life, to each his own Morality. My life?
[Various photographs, relevant to the narration are displayed, as the narrator continues
:There's nothing to it. It's the life of a sorry chump. They should write that someday. The story of a man like so many others, as common as can be. It starts off in France, shithole of cheese and Nazi lovers. Our man is born near Paris in 1939. In '41 his mother abandons him. He'll never see her again. At the War's end, he finally finds our who his father was. A French Communist killed in a German death camp. He's now six years old. Inner turmoil is part of him. Meanwhile, an educator nabs his innocence in the name of Jesus. At the age of 14, driven by survival, he learns to be a butcher. For ten years he works around saving up penny after penny to pay for his market place. At 30, he succeeds and sets up shop in Aubervilliers. After a rough couple of years, his horsemeat trade gains momentum. Narrator
:At last he can start living. He dates a young worker and bursts her hymen at the Hotel of the Future across the street from the factory she works in. But events precipitate. Nine months later, he fathers a baby girl, Cynthia, rejected by the mother. She abandons them and he's forced to raise his daughter on his own. Years go by. The meat market struggles on. The butcher pays installments on a small flat. He raises his daughter, who's locked in muteness. Narrator
:She reaches puberty. She takes on shapes. The father, unwilling bachelor, must resist temptation. And that's when tragedy strikes. The young girl has her first period. Narrator
:Stricken by an unfamiliar pain, she heads for her father's shop. A worker tries to seduce her on her way over. A neighbor spots them and takes the girl to her father. Seeing blood on her skirt, he can only think of rape. He grabs a knife and takes off after the criminal. On a nearby construction site he sees another worker. The butcher stabs his knife into his face. The innocent man survives, the butcher winds up in jail and his daughter is placed in an institution. He writes a few letters to her. Months go by. The butcher is forced to give up his flat and shop. He's out of jail, but all is lost. Narrator
:To survive, he takes a job in a bar. He becomes the matron's lover. She gets pregnant and offers to sell her bar to start over from scratch, in another city. With the proceeds, she can afford to lease a meat market. Having no other choice, the man accepts. Narrator
:For the first time, he visits his daughter. He tells her goodbye. She watches him leave without a word. The next morning, he drives out of Paris with the matron hoping to escape the dark tunnel of his existence.
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