“Things’ve changed. Got any money for me?”
When her mother dies, a gypsy girl named Marie (Bernadette La Font) — who for years has been treated as the town slut — begins charging the boorish villagers for her sexual favors; soon she embarks upon an even more elaborate plan of revenge.
This most unusual erotic black comedy — the directorial debut of Nelly Kaplan — tells the satisfying tale of a beautiful gypsy girl who manages to single-handedly transform herself from victim to victor, leaving plenty of sweet justice in her wake. While the grotesque opening scenes are hard to stomach (the unenlightened townsfolk treat Marie literally like chattel), her eventual triumph makes the rocky beginning worth sitting through. It’s rather broad satire, but the point is well-made that hypocrisy will eventually out, with everyone ultimately paying for his or her dirty desires. La Font is wonderful in the lead role; she’s ferocious in her late-earned dignity, and displays enormous satisfaction both in the transformation of her tin shack into a cozy space, and in the power she knows she’s accumulated over her piggish neighbors. It’s a delight to watch Marie pursue her plan with such calculated tenacity.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Bernadette La Font as Marie
- A satisfying tale of feminist growth and revenge
- The hilarious ending
Yes, as a most unusual French film. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.