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The first scene, like almost all others, is a fighting scene. A girl, about 18, is sacked from her factory work because her trial period is over. The girl, Rosetta, is quite upset and the cops will have to arrive to get her out. She has her reasons: she lives in a caravan, with her alcoholic mother. She goes looking for work as some go to the war. Treasons, murders are in her mind, if not in her acts. Written by
Gregoire Dubost <Gregoire.email@example.com>
Your name is Rosetta. My name is Rosetta. You found a job. I found a job. You've got a friend. I've got a friend. You have a normal life. I have a normal life. You won't fall in a rut. I won't fall in a rut. Good night. Good night.
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I saw Rosetta 3 or 4 months ago and it has stayed vividly in my mind. I would like to respond to two other commentaries here which compare Rosetta to earlier films.
One commentary compares it to Nights of Cabiria. But this is no pastoral fantasy like the Fellini. Another contributor calls Rosetta a fake Bresson. Presumably the point of comparison is with Bresson's Mouchette, and it's a good comparison to make, but I don't think it is one that diminishes Rosetta. Both Mouchette and Rosetta capture the flow of time and the characters' interior worlds realistically, but with realisms which are quite different. Mouchette's struggle is a spiritual one; Rosetta's struggle is with her physical conditions.
To make a comparison of my own, albeit an off-the-wall one, Rosetta's determination is strangely like the pure will-power that Lee Marvin demonstrates, barging into the Organisation's HQ in Point Blank. Maybe this forceful quality is what makes it a "war film".
The film-makers do the opposite of sentimentalising Rosetta's conditions as Fellini would have done. Arguably, they even go past Bresson, if you tend to a materialist rather than a religious point of view. They argue how poverty operates, how surviving it involves anger.
There is one moment when Rosetta slips in a lake and we understand exactly at the moment she does, that she may in fact drown. Not a moment that's easy to forget.
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