Director Mario Fererri reenacts the events leading up to the Battle of the Little Big Horn in this wild, highly stylized surreal farce set in and around a gaping excavation for a huge urban renewal project in 1974 Paris. The anachronistic backdrop highlights the incongruity of the broad comic characterizations of real life figures George Armstrong Custer, Sitting Bull, and Buffalo Bill.Written by
Dated attempt to screwer French & American Capitalism and Manifest Destiny
1974's DON'T TOUCH THE WHITE WOMAN! is an an odd, farcical critique of Capitalism and Manifest Destiny setting General Custer's Battle of the Little Bighorn in the early'70's with Richard Nixon as President, and a large, controversial, construction pit in Paris, France filling in for the site of the famed Montana massacre. The location of the pit, known as Les Halles, had been Paris's central wholesale marketplace for nearly 800 years before being razed to make way of a multi-tiered commercial business center/modern shopping mall, and - particularly important to the City's growth - a central railroad hub (something that it's helpful to know in order to fully "get" an allegory in the film regarding the need to displace or eliminate the local Natives in order to make way for the railroad). Additional contemporary political commentary surfaces when justifications given for taking action against the Natives, parallel those used by the French against the Algerians, and by both the French and Americans in Vietnam. If all this makes the movie sound thoughtful or fascinating, I am sorry to report that it is neither, the most interesting aspects being the broad performances by an all-star cast led by Catherine Deneuve (Madame Boismonfrais; trans. Freshwood?), Marcello Mastroianni (Gen. Custer), Michel Piccoli (Buffalo Bill), Philippe Noiret (Gen. Terry) and La Cage aux Folles co-star, Ugo Tognazzi as Custer's famed Indian Scout, Mitch Bouyer, portrayed here as a duplicitous chameleon playing both sides, while selling "Indian artifacts" to tourists that are actually made by white women in sweatshop conditions.
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