Story of Women (1988) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Marie Latour, a woman of limited schooling, raises two children in a ratty flat during World War II in occupied France. In 1941, her husband Paul returns from German captivity, too weak to hold a job. Marie discovers she can make money performing abortions, using a soapy water douche. Many of her clients are knocked up by occupying Germans. She buys better food and clothes, looks for a new flat, and, through an acquaintance, who is a prostitute, rents out her bedrooms to hookers during the day. She's indifferent to Paul; his humiliations grow as does her income. She hopes to be a singer. Male Vichy umbrage and moral hypocrisy may upend her. What is she thinking?


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  • "Une affaire de femmes" known as Story of Women is based upon the true story of Marie-Louise Giraud.

    During World War II, Marie Latour and her children live poor in a ratty apartment in Nazi-occupied France. Her husband Paul had been drafted to war.

    Marie discovers her neighbor Ginette is pregnant and wants an abortion. Ginette provides a douche and soap. Using soapy water from the douche, Marie performs a successful abortion on Ginette.

    Paul returns home. During the war, he suffered injuries rendering him too weak to work. He finds employment but is later fired. After a confrontation between him and Marie, the family moves to a new apartment.

    Marie meets a prostitute named Lucie and informs her of the abortions.

    For two years, Marie makes an income performing abortions on women, many of whom had affairs with German soldiers while their husbands were at war. An abortion Marie performed possibly caused the death of a patient. Marie also rents rooms to Lucie and other prostitutes to spend with johns. Using the money, Marie provides better necessities for her family.

    With a failing marriage, Marie has an affair with a john named Lucien, upsetting Paul.

    Paul writes a letter to the chief inspector, relaying Marie's actions. Marie is arrested and sent to jail. She is then summoned to appear in a Paris state tribunal and transferred.

    During a trial, Marie is found guilty for her crimes and sentenced to death. She was guillotined July 30, 1943.

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