8 September 2007 | N_Sgo
Oh, everybody's debt!
Odette Toulemonde. Now, should that be translated as "Oh, everybody's debt!" or as "Odette, just like all of us"? Probably both. This film takes up the romantic comedy genre to deal with issues which have nothing romantic or comical about them. It is a strange and interesting choice by the film's director. It is a film about sacrifice, the debt to the other, and several other non-bourgeois values which make it doubly interesting (the protagonist is a low class department store clerk). There are several allusions to Josephine Baker, the black woman who became famous in France for playing an exotic "black savage" on stage, but devoted her entire life off-stage for charity work and was much more "human" than many of her high- or middle-class fans. All in all an interesting film, not a masterpiece. Somewhat subversive in its subtle criticism and choice of genre (perhaps a genre originally meant for someone like the film's protagonist, suggesting some implicit connection between escapism and a saintly character). Recommended.