Story of Women (1988) - full transcript

Marie Latour, a woman of limited schooling, raises two children in a ratty flat during World War II in occupied France. In 1941, her husband Paul returns from German captivity, too weak to hold a job. Marie discovers she can make money performing abortions, using a soapy water douche. Many of her clients are knocked up by occupying Germans. She buys better food and clothes, looks for a new flat, and, through an acquaintance, who is a prostitute, rents out her bedrooms to hookers during the day. She's indifferent to Paul; his humiliations grow as does her income. She hopes to be a singer. Male Vichy umbrage and moral hypocrisy may upend her. What is she thinking?


Quit whining.

- It stings.
- It won't once it's cooked.

- I won't eat it.
- You'll eat it if I say so.

Pick some more.

Help me open the bag.



Look, he's back.

Isn't she cute?

I got it right with this little one.

Take the key.

When I was born,

were you happy, too?

Of course.

You're a boy.

It's always right to have a boy.

Let me see, ugly duckling.

Pierrot, I'm going out tonight.
I need to have fun.

I'm still young, after all.

You got angel eyes.

Oh, no, Monsieur Blanche.

This isn't a dance hall.

That's too bad.

Clear out. If the Krauts come,
I don't want any trouble.

You got angel eyes.

You too, guys.
It's time to clear out.

- It's nice when you sing.
- Think so?

You know, Rachel,
one day I'll sing on stage.

I can feel it.

Like we need rain now.

Get up, ugly duckling.
It's Monday.

Just a minute.

Get up.

Get dressed.

I'm going to Ginette's
for my coffee mill.

It's me.

I'm here for my mill.

Are you in the bath?

Are you there?

Why's the water yellow?

It's mustard.

Is mustard good for the skin?

It's not for that.

Are you pregnant?

Bernard doesn't want it.

I came for the coffee mill.

It's on the shelf in the kitchen.

He's being sent to work in Germany.

To relieve the prisoners of war.

- He leaves in three days.
- Can't he do anything?

Of course not.

He says...

no one can tell
how long it will last.

He doesn't want...

to make any promises, just in case.

Maybe your husband will come back.

You won't get rid of it that way.

Not with mustard.

- It's raining.
- Take her out.

Or it's school for you.

Come on.
Don't look at me like that.

Don't look at me like that.
And don't come back before lunch.

You haven't changed your mind?

He took it from the arsenal.

And I got the soap.

Water's boiling.

We have to let it cool.

- You don't use it all?
- This'll be enough.

Takes almost as long to cool down.

Put it on the sill.

Can't let the rain get at it.

Have you done this before?

You scared?

You've never done this.

It can't be harder
than anything else.

It's ready now.

How do I sit?

The table's too small.

Do I lie on the floor?

You'll have to.

Pull up your skirt.

To think people make love
on the floor too.


You do it.
I might get it wrong.

- Does it hurt?
- I don't know.

Listen, Ginette.

Can I keep the soap
that's left over?

- Dry day today.
- Isn't Rachel here?

You seen her?

The Krauts took her away.

Where to?

Where do you think? Germany.

Why did they take her?


- Rachel's not a Jew.
- Of course she is.


She's never been Jewish.
She would've told me.



Still nothing.
I don't think it worked.

And Bernard left at 3:00 today.

So did Rachel. They took her away.
Said she was Jewish.

Want to try again?

I don't know what to do.

I'll come see you
after I check on the kids.

Why are you crying?

I don't know. I'm sad.


I'll be with Ginette.
She needs me.

When I go to bed,
you come in and snuggle up.


Don't cry.

Don't cry, my little duck.
Everybody's sad tonight.

A hundred francs, in advance.

That's too much.
And we can't carry all that.

How much then?


Up to here.

Okay, 50 francs.
For the kids' sake.



Show me you're a man.

We're almost there.

Take the key out of my pocket.

Go on in.


So you're back?


There's work on the docks.

Your soup's thin.
Just like in the camp.

That's all there is.
Are you still hungry?

It's hard these days.

Bedtime, children.
Pierrot, help your sister.

Give Daddy a kiss.

Do we go back to the little bed?


Go on now. Good night.

Come here.

Wait. I'm not finished.


A prisoner got this letter
from his wife.

"After working hard all day,

I lay my head on the table
and look at your empty chair,

and I cry.

In bed, I imagine
you're lying beside me.

I don't feel your hands on my body,

nor your soft hair
against my breasts.

Your body was so warm.
I'm cold now.

I miss you so much, François."

François was next to me
at the hospital.

He knew he was dying,
so he gave me this letter,

because I never got one.

I can't spell.

She couldn't spell either.

Come here.

Touch me.
Touch me down there. I need it.

Come on.

I don't like that.

- No, I don't like that.
- So what do you like?

Clean skin, well-ironed,
like my Sunday best.

I'm not afraid.
I've got thick skin.

Where are you going?


Lose a war and a man gets mean
as a wounded bull.

Another little bite.

Good, huh?


I thought I'd wait
till your husband left.

Here, you deserve this.
It worked.


I bled so much,
I thought I'd have no blood left.

Open it.

Look at that, Mouche.


I'm going to rest.
I'm worn out.

- Thanks, Doc.
- Oh, come now.


You have a great time
when I'm away.

Where did you get this?

Did you see about work?

I start in two days. What's this?

A gift from a neighbor.
I did her a favor.

Women's business.

Hold still.

You've got split ends.


Not bad, huh?

When my husband was away,
I worked at home.

I knitted angora sweaters.

A lady sent me the wool
and the designs I had to knit.

Knitting? Does it pay well?

Not really.
And what do you do?

Can't you tell I'm a hooker?

You don't say!

I guess men must
really look you over.

That's what hookers are for.

Listen, it's not a dry day.
You thirsty?

This is the good stuff.
Just for you, Lulu.

That's real nice of you.

- What's your name?
- Marie.

Mine's Lucie.

But that's no name for a hooker,
so I go by Lulu.


How much do you make a day?

Depends on the customer.
I look, then I decide.

Krauts pay through the nose.
I can't help it.

- Some of them are handsome.
- True.

But it's a matter of principle.

Is it true that some
like to whip you?

No more than the French.

Men have always treated us
like horses.

I had a friend...

She was taken away.

A Jew.

At least that can't happen to me.

We're Normans. Nothing but hicks.

Me too.

At least we got one thing in common.

Why do you say that?

We're not the same type.

You think I'm ugly?

Certainly not.

You've got a husband, kids.

We don't live in the same world.

Watch my bag for a minute?

- What can I get you?
- A Suze.

It's not as simple as that.
I'm not just a housewife.

No offense, but you look like one.

Maybe, but I'm not
what I seem to be.

I even do things
that are against the law.

Like what, baby face?

You're close.

Isn't she the coy one?
Come on, deliver the goods.

Even warmer.

If you're ever in trouble,
I could help.

In trouble?

Knocked up.

What are you crying about now, Marie?

I spent a fortune on my hair,
and you didn't notice.

My own husband.

So I'm your husband again?

Aren't you?

A husband makes love to his wife.

Don't start that again.

See what I'm cleaning?
Think it puts me in the mood?

Don't blame me. It's shell shock.

You can't imagine the fear
you feel in your gut.

- What about the others?
- What about them?

Did they shit their pants too?

Stop it, Marie.
You're getting mean again.

I'm not mean.
I've been a slave since I was 14.

- And I don't see how it'll ever change.
- Like most women.

I don't care about "most women"!
I can't take it anymore!

I want to move, Paul.

I can't stand it here.
We live like rats.

Let me get it.

Move, Pierrot.

Out of the way.

We need another bed.

They're getting too old
to sleep together.

Isn't that right, little lady?

Only hicks sleep five to a bed.

Coming, Pierrot?

Come on.

Whose birthday is it?

We're celebrating the new apartment.
Everyone gets to make a wish.

Got the matches?

You first, Mouche.
Think of something you really want.

One, two, three, four...

Now blow.

What did you think of?

Can I light it this time?

No, wait.
You don't know how.

Your turn. Daddy's turn.

- What was your wish?
- Hell, I forgot.

You're really smart,
the bunch of you.

Your turn, Pierrot.

Now it's my turn.

What about Pierrot's wish?

Right. What did you wish for?

- I want to be an executioner.
- What do you mean?

Are you crazy?

Why an executioner?

Because they wear
that thing on their head.

And because...

no one knows who they are.

What was your wish, Marie?

To become a singer.

I went to a fortune-teller.

You believe in that stuff?

What did she tell you?

I'll have lots of money,
and we'll have no more worries.

She saw a lot of women
in my cards, too.

A lot of women?
What does that mean?

What do you mean, a lot of women?

She didn't explain.

But she said only good things
lie ahead for me.

And you believe that?

Yes, I do.

What if there's no one in?

You'll keep your little bundle,
that's all.

Is it my fault you slept around?

What are you waiting for? Ring.

- What is it?
- Lucie sent us.

Stop it, Mouche!

Is she in trouble?

It's not about her.

She said you could help us.

My sister is three weeks pregnant.

Show her.

The money.

Is 1,000 francs enough?

Come in.

This isn't like her.
She never cries.

You live far from here?

In Anvermeu.

Her husband's been a prisoner
for two years.

Some women can't stand loneliness.

You have to pay in advance.

- I don't make the rules. It's 50 grams!
- But the doctor said...

He can say what he wants!
Fifty grams is 50 grams, and that's it!

Some people got their nerve!

You got enough coupons
for all that?

Cash, not coupons.

Jam on a cracker.

Wait, we'll put some more on.

No more empty bellies here.
We're in the clover.

I'll try it.

Do you want some, Mouche?


Where did you get that?

I bought it.
They don't give it away.

- Where did you get the money?
- I have talents you don't.

I hope you know what you're doing.

Just smoke and forget about it.

You're not finished yet?

I don't get it.

I can't help you, ducky.

Never mind. It's bedtime.

Go to bed in your nice pajamas.

Can't go in the kitchen.

It's good to see you, angel.
Does my heart good.

I couldn't find you.
Why did you move?

The other girls gave me problems.

They were jealous.

At least I can save money here.

Got time for a coffee?

No, angel, I gotta work.

Business is bad these days.

Some days, I like the streets
to be empty.

Why not go to good neighborhoods?
You're pretty.

I like sailors too much.
And rooms are cheaper here.

Lulu, I got an idea.

I want to make you an offer.

With the train,
you can scream and shout.

Thanks, but I can't.
Not in a child's room.

I don't like it here.

I feel funny.

Have some more.
Wine never killed anyone.

What does your mother do
when I'm at work?

Do you know?

Does she have visitors sometimes?



Men, right?

No, ladies.

You speak German?

Who cares how she gets
her money anyway?

We don't hear that train anymore.

You're being a bad boy.

- It's just for fun.
- For fun?

- We don't hear the train anymore.
- You don't say!

You only get a half hour, pal.

- Act like a gentleman out here.
- If you like.

I put out a clean towel.

Your friend doesn't look the part.

She's just interested in the rent.

Don't stay out there.
Can't you see it's raining?

You got angel eyes.

You polished him off fast.

I'm getting lazy.

- Want some?
- Wouldn't say no.

For this week.

I thought of something.

Maybe a friend of yours
could use the back room.

I'll ask. But that room
is more like a closet.

There's a window.

A porthole.

She wouldn't be here to sunbathe.

Once you start making money,
you always want more, huh?

I'm off.
No need to cause trouble.

Who cares what he thinks?

No, let's not make trouble.

Is your whore gone?

It's your fault if you saw her.

Why are you here?
It's only 4:00.

I'm not needed anymore.
They fired me.

I thought they hired you for a year.
Even paid you in advance.

Well, they changed their mind.

I'm not healthy enough.
They need stronger guys.

Don't make that face.

A vet, 50 % disabled, might bring in
more than your racket.

How much?

3,500 francs a month.

That's something anyway.

Then we can make love
without waking the kids.

You just want ass, not a wife.

What have you got against me?

I don't love you.

- A goose, really?
- So they say.

And the French can win it?

They say anyone can play.

- The Jews, too?
- Don't be silly.

Straight ahead, straight ahead...

This is to certify
it's not black market.

- Haven't we met?
- You're Lucie's friend.

Not her friend. Her client.

Can I buy you a drink?


You handle a sword...


Yes, that's it.

You're cute when you blush.
All your freckles show.

- Are you ashamed?
- Of what?

Of your freckles.

Of turning me on.

You're talking nonsense.

No, I say what I think.

I love you...

and you'll come to love me too.

I have to go.

Take it all.

I'll see you later.

So long, little rascals.

Look, children. A goose.

Only you could be so lucky.

Winning a goose in a raffle.
Pierrot, turn on the radio.

Marshal Pétain is speaking.

I'm not all that lucky.


For two years,
I have thought of nothing else

but of clearing the paths
that lead to peace:

the family strengthened and honored,

the creation of youth organizations...

Have you ever met Marshal Pétain?

No. When I got out, he just sent me
the letter I showed you.

Did he know you were wounded?

A war wound is no big thing.

Damn it! He wet the bed again.

I can't believe this.


Who gave you that?

Don't you know it's poison?

It'll kill you one day.

We have too many.
I couldn't take another one.

All right, but not like that.

I heard...

of another way.

Six in seven years of marriage.

Having a bloated body
nine months a year, for six years.

And always a starving little one
hanging at my breast.

I feel like a cow.

I hate myself.

It's so hard to say.

I don't like my children.

I put up with them...

but I've never loved them.

Not even the first.

He took 16 hours to come out,
ripping apart all my insides.

I remember only one summer
when I was happy.

I was 16.

I had a beautiful body.

Men would look at me
without daring to touch.

The weather wasn't good
that summer.

But I felt so light.

And what do you do with your man?

I hardly ever sleep with him.


Robert wouldn't stand for that.

Come by tomorrow.

Yes. Thank you.

Stay for a minute.

What do you want, angel?

Can you take
the small room tomorrow?

I won't charge you.

I'm moving up in the world.
Do you need it?

Got things to do?

Pretty sharp.
You find money everywhere.

Lucien's fallen for you,
giving you the goose and all.

Making cutouts again?

What's the use?

I don't know. I like it.

Did you get up just to chat?

I had a nightmare.

Dreams can be happy too.

What did you do today?

I'll heat up some coffee.

- Want some?
- I can always have some.

You haven't answered.
What did you do?

What's it to you?

What did they do to you?
Tell me.

I'll be all right.

You're burning up.

- I'm getting the doctor.
- No, please don't.

- I'd rather die.
- What did you say?


It helps pass the time.

When I finish, I don't feel so useless...

so good for nothing.

Poor Paul.

Watch out for the crane.
It's dangerous.

I'm here for the crane driver.

Why are you smiling?

You're not the best ever,

but I like your squirrel coat.

You could've said "fur."

"Fur" and "jewels" are words
I never say in front of women.

- Are you cheap?
- Have I been cheap?

But what about Lulu?

What about her?
You want money?

That's not what I meant.

So much the better.
No competition.

Why didn't they send you to Germany?

You weren't drafted to work there?

Think I'm an idiot?

I do them favors.

When you're useful,
they leave you alone.

I even managed to get a pass.

So what do you do?

I mop up.

Well, I help in the mopping up.

I like things to be tidy.

- You're not a romantic.
- I'm a man.

Where were you?
We've been waiting since 5:00.

Go back to your cutouts.

Where were you, bitch?

You want the neighbors to hear?

You got a lover?
Say it: You got a lover.

Being with whores
has made you a whore.

Answer me.
Have you got a lover?

You're like... a stone.

Go to your room.

Your father's a cuckold.

Does Mrs. Latour live here?

Third floor.
Mrs. Latour is my mother.

You're lucky
you still have a mother.

Their mom died, and their dad
threw himself under a train.

Mrs. Latour?

- I must talk to you.
- I can't. I'm late. Some other time.

Would you rather I call the police?

I don't understand.

Is this your operating room?

I didn't ask her to come.

Besides, she had tried everything:

curtain rods, parsley,
umbrella ribs.

And all those poisons.
She told me so herself.

When she died,
her husband couldn't take it.

He threw himself under a train.

The other kids are at my sister's.

It wasn't my first time.
Nothing's ever gone wrong.

Your sister-in-law
couldn't have died because of me.

She must've panicked and gone back
to her old wives' potions.

I told her to come back
if it didn't work.

- Did she owe you money?
- No, it doesn't matter.

Tell me if it's not enough.

If you insist.

Would the children like a drink?

No, thank you.
I don't want them to drink here.

What will you do?


The children have been
hurt enough already.

I don't want them
to know how she died.

This one was deaf at birth.

He can't hear a thing.

I'll try to raise all six of them,

away from all this filth and scandal.

And in the Christian faith.

I tell myself
the Lord is sending me this cross.

I won't do anything to you.

I just wanted you to know.

Babies in their mother's belly
have a soul.

I pity you.

Let's get out of here.

This isn't a house for children.

I've got some
good news for you, angel.

So long, honey.

I've found somebody for your closet.

Marcelle, a sweet girl.

And the bitch makes a fortune.

Your mother's very pretty.

Look after your sister, ducky.
I've got to go.

Bye, sweetheart.


Didn't we say 3:00, darling?

It's not my fault.
If you only knew.

I don't like my women to be late.

That's pretty.

I'm soaked.

I'm gonna dry off.
Here are some candies for you.

Leave some for your brother.

Where is Pierrot?

He should be back from school.

Must be hanging around outside.

In the rain?

Maybe he's looking for his mother.

Do you have to follow me around
like a dog?

At least dogs don't wear
pajamas all day.

I can dress up as a nanny,
if you'd like.

Actually, I found you a job.

It doesn't do you good
to hang around idle.

We'll get along better
if you're working.


It's easy work. You patrol the docks
and look out for sabotage.

They'll trust you.
You're not a Communist.

How did you hear about this?

A friend of mine has connections.

Okay. If it can prevent
innocent people from being...

What do you mean by that?

For each act of sabotage,
10 guys are executed.

We're occupied, you know!

You may have fancy food and a lover,
but there's still a war on.

I'm for the Resistance.

You idiot, you're not for anything!

You're just against me.

Where do I go to see
about this filthy job?

Hey, Jerry, how are things?

Hi there.

You've changed your hair.

- Join me for coffee?
- Sure.

Got to make time for pleasure.

Hi, Marcelle.

That big babe will make you rich.
All my clients go for her.

Spring's the best time.
They're ravenous.

How much?

Fifty francs for love,
20 for a blowjob.

- See?
- I think you're prettier.

This is disgusting.
What is it, mud?

It is what it is.

Do you think babies
in their mother's belly have a soul?

Their mothers would have
to have one first.

I took on a housekeeper.

Once it's clean, I don't care.
I won't look in the corners.

So much the better.

You're in the way, Mouche.
Get up on the bed.

Lots of people come through here.

You know how to keep quiet?

Don't worry.

After what I've seen,
I learned quick.

If they ask, I'm a know-nothing.

Let's make the bed.
Get down, Mouche.

- Why?
- We're making the bed.

Our sheet seems a bit worn out.

Think so?

One more night of love
and it's finished.

We'll see.

Say, Fernande.

Is there a man in your life?

Not these days.

If you want, my husband's available.

It's old hat after 10 years,
but for you he'd be brand-new.

I'd even give you a raise.

What if I don't want to?

Why wouldn't you?

- Get down. Now you're in for it.
- Catch me.

You've hurt me.

- Damn! I forgot about her.
- What's up?

A customer. Go to my room.

I'm coming!

Away from there.
That's women's business.

You're not my father.

This is the third time
a Bismarck has knocked me up.

This brat will go right down the toilet.
I'm counting on you.

Take off your panties.

We'll have to buy more soap.

Soapy water
never killed anyone, right?

Finish her up, Fernande.

My assistant will take over.
She's good. You can trust her.

I'm running late today.

The hard part's over.

What're you doing here?

Go do your homework,
or I'll be blamed.

Go on.

You're driving me crazy.

Your son's a dirty little devil.

He was peeping
through the keyhole.

Lucien, you'll make me burn in hell.



of China...



on the Allies...

- Where are you going?
- Out for some air.

What about curfew?

I have a pass.

Your turn, Pierrot.

How old are you?

Around 40.

Women become gentle at that age.

Does your wife
always sleep with the little girl?

It's been a while, yes.

That's a big bed to have
all to yourself.

I don't mind, but Marcelle
doesn't always tidy up my room.

Did my wife ask you
to sleep with me?

Let me. I want it.

Never. Never!

Not now.
I don't want Pierrot to know.

Don't worry.

Look, he thinks
he's the captain of the Titanic.

Today we get to ride
on top of the pigs.

Think Fernande did it
with the big boss?

- I think so.
- You're not supposed to dance here.

- Paul's working tonight. Come to dinner.
- We'll see.


He looked at me as if...

as if he knew me.

Stop imagining things.

- I had the feeling that...
- Spit it out.

Watch her for a minute.

Look who's back.

I was just passing by.

Have you got any news from Rachel?

Ever heard of Jews making it back?

Rachel will come back.
You can bet on it.

Leave me alone. Get out of here.

To the chief inspector,

I'm writing to inform you
that Mrs. Latour, 7 rue des Moines,

has performed a dozen abortions
over the last two years

on women who slept with Germans

or whose husbands
were captive in Germany.

Besides the income
from this activity,

she lets out rooms to prostitutes,
profiting from their trade.

You have a lovely voice.

If you work a lot,
it'll become beautiful.


How are you?

Sure, we can play airplane.

And there's Pierrot.

You too, ducky.
Come dance with Mommy.

You're so light,
even though we eat so well these days.

Stop, Mommy.

Mommy's going to be a singer.

That's me.

I was seven years old
when my mother was arrested.

She was probably
no older at heart.

Her fate would be played out
in a world more foreign to us

than the one that greeted Alice
on the other side of her looking glass.

I can't go if anyone's watching.

Don't be such a tight-ass.

Ask Baby Jesus or the Virgin Mary.

You'll have a good one.

Cut it out. Don't be mean.

You weren't so picky
when you were bumping off babies.

- I've never hurt a child.
- So what was inside them? Spiders?

Latour, you've got a visitor.

- My lawyer?
- Don't think so.

Who is it, then?

Here she is.

You're the Latour woman?

Marcel Carmaillon, court bailiff.

This is a summons
to appear before the state tribunal

in the Paris courthouse.


In Paris?

Sign here.

At the bottom.

Does my lawyer know?

It seems your lawyer's
no longer involved.

You have no choice — it's the state.
You have to sign.

I don't understand.

- Where's your mother?
- In Paris.

- Liar. She's in prison.
- She's in Paris!

Where's the Eiffel Tower?

Forget about the Eiffel Tower.

What are you in for?

I'm talking to you.
Why are you here?


They brought you from the sticks for that?
Are you kidding?

I don't know.
It's for the state tribunal, they say.

The state tribunal?

So they say.

You sure hit the jackpot.


When that happens,
it means something's worrying you.

It's this case that Cavalier
so kindly unloaded on me.

I can't believe you're scared

by a doddering judge
and a dim-witted colonel.

That dim-witted colonel,
as you put it,

demanded the death penalty
last time...

and for a woman.

- But not for abortion.
- He doesn't care.

They may be very severe.

More than we might usually expect.

I heard this court
was for Communists.

Maybe it's a mistake.

Sorry, do you want one?

It's complicated.

They want to set an example.

An example of what?

An example of what?

At first, the tribunal was created
for crimes against the state.


these days, with the defeat,
the occupation, all that,

the state's become particular
about moral issues.

Anything that goes against morals

is considered
to go against the state.

They claim there are
more abortions than births,

- so the nation's in danger.
- Husbands are prisoners,

young men are sent to Germany.

That's another question.

Those are the terms of the armistice.

But I told the magistrate
I wouldn't do it again.

He said if I confessed,
it'd go better for me.

I want to become a singer.


Anyway, we'll do our best.

I'm supposed to meet
Colonel Chabert.

He'll be representing
the government at the trial.

He's a bit narrow-minded,

but he's a decent man.

I think we can trust him.

Don't be discouraged.

Do you need anything?

Paris prisons are
the most crowded in the country.

I'll be fine.

Oh, yes.

I'd like a postcard
of the Eiffel Tower.

It's for my children.
They've never been to Paris.

Of course, I understand.

Lord, our God, in your mercy
you sent us the Virgin Mary.

Through her motherhood,
she's a source of eternal life.

Through our prayers,
let us share the fruit of our labor.

We praise you
for giving us all we need

through Jesus,
your son, our Lord. Amen.


How is your lawyer?

I'm not sure I can trust him.

What did he say?

I don't know.
It's as if I'd murdered the president.

Maybe he wanted to impress me.

Without the abortion money,
this is what my kids would've had to eat.


It's true.

They spend the war
sitting on their ass.

Then they pick
one woman out of the blue.

And not one born
with a silver spoon in her mouth.

They throw her in prison
just to set an example.

But who will look after Mouche
and Pierrot? They don't care.

They have maids for their kids.

It's easy to keep your hands clean
when you're rich.

It's been four months now.

They want to punish me?
Let them do it.

And it's all men.

How could men understand, anyway?

Go to sleep.

I can't.

I fully understand, Colonel.

I agree with you.

The nation needs
to regain moral strength

after Blum and company.
That's certain.

But let's not forget
this woman is uneducated.

Yet she now realizes
what she's done.

Her remorse is genuine.

I should hope so.
Otherwise, what a monster.

Of course, you're right.

But there are different kinds

of remorse.

I can swear Mrs. Latour
will never lapse into crime again.

Never. I can swear it.

Her months in prison
have transformed her.

In a way, they have...

converted her.

Christ would have forgiven her.

We're not in Jerusalem.

My dear fellow, you are...


We are a conquered country.

We must get back on our feet.

France has a pressing need
for moral restoration.

When a nation has gangrene,

there's no place for sentimentality.

We must sever...

the gangrened limb.


Or put it aside, at least.

- You forgot an S.
- Don't bother me.

I didn't kill anyone, after all.

If I get 10 years,
I'll be old when I get out.

All that wasted blue sky
gets on my nerves.

- Already?
- No choice.

Watch the step.

It's kind of chilly.

Thus, for almost two years,

you have, as you put it,

done "favors."

Favors, I might add, for which
you kept raising your prices.

You thus "favored" 20...

Twenty-three, according
to this document...

twenty-three future mothers
of your country...

of our country.

And our country could have done
without this type of favor.

I also see that, at the same time,

you let out your rooms
to women of easy virtue...

prostitutes, in a word...

to enable them
to practice their profession.

Don't you see this behavior reveals

a certain cynicism?

A certain cynicism,
a certain debasement.

Can't you see that?


Are you all right?

They'll never sentence
a woman to death. Don't worry.

It'll be all right.

Want me to get someone?

Don't worry.

We'll get you out of here.

Waiting for the verdict
is the worst time.

The prosecutor always asks
for the maximum,

but he seldom gets it.

Especially for a woman.

It shouldn't last too much longer.

Will the defendant please rise.

In accordance with Articles 59, 60,
317, 319 of the Penal Code,

the laws of August 13, 1941,
February 15, 1942,

the edict of July 29, 1939,

and the law of September 7, 1941,

this court, after due deliberation,

and in accordance with the law,

finds the defendant

guilty on all counts.

The court sentences
Marie-Jeanne Latour, née Bayon,

to death.

In keeping with Article 12 of the code,

she will be guillotined.

Guards, take her away.
Court dismissed.

Take this.
It's a first communion medal.

Let's go.

Hail Mary,

full of shit.

Rotten is the fruit of your womb.

He won't sign for a pardon.

How could he?
He asked for that sentence.

- They'll behead her.
- That's right. They'll behead her.

"Work, Family, Fatherland."
We have no rights, just duties.

She killed for money, and that's it.

- What monstrous hypocrisy.
- You said it.

And the Jewish children sent to Germany?
I feel like an accomplice.

We all are. They cut our balls off.

- They've butchered us.
- Blood doesn't frighten them.

Think it's because of them?

That's their excuse.

In fact, they're taking revenge.

On their own cowardice.

Theirs... mine... yours.

France has become
one gigantic chicken coop.

Here she is.


Mr. Fillon was not able...

to come today.

He couldn't be here.

He instructed me to come.

I'm Mr. Martinet.
I'm clerking at his firm.

I was instructed to...

I've come to be with you.

Have you got any children?

No, not yet.

The priest came to see me.

He heard my confession.

Marshal Pétain was right.

- Is there anything...
- Does it hurt?

It's very quick.

But does it hurt?

If we ask for forgiveness,
we may not go to hell.

I think the weather was beautiful
on July 30, 1943.

The neighborhood kids
told me the news:

"They guillotined your mother."

It's hard to believe,
even when you're seven.

It's like a big black hole
inside you.

She was sometimes so lighthearted.

And she liked to sing so much.