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This film was very poorly received in it's native country and it's easy to guess why. It highlights many of the less attractive characteristics of the French and their attitudes towards those living on the more uncomfortable edges of their society. Watching the film, it is impossible not to reflect with shame upon any time you have avoided eye contact with a begger or street vendor. Not exactly the sort of feeling you hope to get for your 45 Franc entrance fee. Discomfiting his viewers is not the only way in which Kechiche breaks the rules. The basic film formula is completely abandoned in favour of a realistic story - an almost unprecedented approach to film making. One of the major characters disappears without trace halfway through the film. This sort of thing happens in everyone's life - you break up with your boyfriend and never hear from him again - but filmmaking rules stipulate that such departures should be neatly explained and followed up. It seems Kechiche never learnt the rules, or indeed that he's completely uninterested in making a commercially successful or at least critically acclaimed film. But that's his business - whatever his motives were, I'm glad I stumbled into the cinema when I did, as la Faute a Voltaire, one of the most touching and impressive films I've seen in years, only got ran for a few weeks in Paris cinemas.
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