Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (France, 1961, 121 min.). French with English subtitles. Digital.
“Religion is the opiate of the people,” begins the confession of jaded Communist widow Barny (Emmanuelle Riva). After relocating to a drab little village during the Occupation, Barny’s boredom leads her to provoking the local clergy. But when her confessor dryly tells her, “Pas exactement,” Barny begins a seemingly inexorable turn towards God—or perhaps towards her handsome confessor.
“Melville’s depiction of wartime France is peerless: he shows the brazenness of collaborators, the casual anti-Semitism, and the arrests and disappearances with a harrowing simplicity.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker
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