Friday, May 6, 2011

Innocence

Innocence (Belgium / France / UK) (2004)

Also Known As:
Athootita
L'école
Невинность
Innocence - viattomuus
Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Starring: Bérangère Haubruge, Zoé Auclair
Synopsis: The line between cinematic art and exploitation has rarely seemed finer and nervier than in the French film "Innocence." A parable about the lost paradise of girlhood, specifically those prepubescent years before a girl surrenders to the inevitable bumps and fluids, the film marks the directing debut of Lucile Hadzihalilovic, whose seemingly plotless story centers on an all-girls boarding school in a thickly treed forest of the sort usually inhabited by hungry wolves and little wayfarers in symbolic red hoods. Ms. Hadzihalilovic based her screenplay on a relatively obscure text by the German-born playwright Frank Wedekind called "Mine-Haha, or the Corporeal Education of Young Girls." The fealty of Ms. Hadzihalilovic's translation of the Wedekind text notwithstanding, the dubious vision of utopia put forth in this film finds the girls engaged in an almost militaristic pursuit of physical perfection without commensurate attention paid to their intellect. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

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