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France / Mexico, 1953 (MIFF 1957, Programme 5)

Director: Yves Allegret

The dramatic works of Jean-Paul Satre are noted as much for their emotional coldness as for the provocative quality of their intellectual content. Thesis drama is a limited means of theatrical expression and Satre's protagonists move through the actions of their plots with the dispassionate precision of pieces in a game of chess. It was obviously the difficulty of humanizing an intellectual thesis which most concerned director Yves Allegret in preparing a film version of the play and they have chosen lo solve the problem by emphasising the love story at the expense of Satre's weightier implications. By concentrating his analysis on the two central figures, Allegret has managed to create an existentialist drama which is at once thought-provoking and emotionally moving.

The scene is Mexico with an atmosphere of heat, squalor, poverty, elaborate churches and spotted fever.

The point of view expressed is that man, having reached the depths of degradation, can find himself free and begin again to build.

See also...


Italy, 1954
Emmer's film on Picasso is on a larger scale than his previous work, and the considerable running time enables him to analyse and discuss the work of this controversial artist in some detail. The com… More »

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