mardi 2 juin 2009

Feminist themes in french fiction : « La fiancée du pirate » by Nelly Kaplan

« La fiancée du pirate » was released in 1969, in the militant background of may 68. It divided the public and the professionals because the subject was scandalous. If some people just saw a spicy tale, some felt and analysed the underlying message, forerunning the feminist struggle of the 70’s.
This movie is first of all the story of a woman fighting against the oppression of her body, which was the main fight of 70’s feminist movement. It is the story of Marie, a young woman who scares the inhabitants of a village called Tellier because she attracts them with an unlimited power of seduction. Publicly, men treat her very badly, laughing at her dead mother and murdering her beloved animal, and when the night begins, they go find comfort in her arms. Performed by Bernadette Lafont, Marie is a character full of duality; by selling her body, she is preparing her revenge. She dares to own and use her own body as she wants: it is used as a weapon. Marie is a modern witch, a myth which will later be used by the MLF as a symbol of the oppression of women’s body.
“La fiancée du pirate” is not a feminist movie, but carries some activist messages. Nelly Kaplan, even if she agreed with feminist movements, was not a feminist filmmaker. She defended the liberation of women, but rejected the militant way.
You can watch a short extract in It is a little bit weird because there are a few cuts in this extract, but it gives the tone of the movie.

1 commentaire:

  1. An interesting idea on the evolution of the movement and what influences various films had on it.

    Some corrections: May 68, of the 70's, dares to own and use, duality;, wants: (no space before punctuation in English).