A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
This film explores a Parisian woman's descent into prostitution. The movie is comprised of a series of 12 "tableaux"-- scenes which are basically unconnected episodes, each presented with a worded introduction.Written by
Alan Katz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My father had a lot of trouble to explain me what those men were doing, laying against the wall on a busy Sunday street, where there were a number of women in flashy clothes going up and down the street, looking at the men who passed by instead of doing window-shopping like me, and my father. It was 1954, in Lisbon. I came to know the men were pimps, and although I always respected the 'girls who were in the life', the pimp became my pet hate, to this day.
Does Goddard make an outstanding political speech here? I'm not sure. But now I understand why everybody was speaking of his 'Nana' in the Sixties. It's a poignant story, clear and sharp, with no tears but more like a gut punch. Particularly for the (unexpected?) ending. I disagree with those who said that the 12 scenes of the movie are 'unconnected'. They are connected! But the film should be fully appreciated on a second viewing for it, may be. These days, people are not able to cope with this much philosophy in a single film.
It's also a sad world when you discover, in 2001, that this film runs 85 minutes in the USA, 83m in Portugal, and 80m in France (it's so described in "Cinéguide" des Presses de la Cité (ed.1992). France shows the most short of the current versions of this wonderful movie about streetwalkers and pimps, about workers and profiteers; therefore, the most 'cut' or censored version - be it political or commercial censorship. France! the country that represented for me Liberty, Fraternity and Equality, when I was a 6 year-old kid opening his eyes to the beauty of chandeliers in a shop window, the beauty of girls in high-heels and knee-length skirts, and the wrongness of the half part of the world who lived without working, squeezing money of those who worked. Even if the work was - like Nana's - lending her body to other people...
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