The Innocent

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

This effort from the stylish Techine is far less successful than his two previous pictures, RENDEZVOUS and SCENE OF THE CRIME. Beautifully photographed (by Berta) in a stunning widescreen, the film opens on the Mediterranean French coast, where Bonnaire has just arrived from the North, visiting the region (for the first time) to attend her sister's wedding...read more

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This effort from the stylish Techine is far less successful than his two previous pictures, RENDEZVOUS and SCENE OF THE CRIME. Beautifully photographed (by Berta) in a stunning widescreen, the film opens on the Mediterranean French coast, where Bonnaire has just arrived from the North,

visiting the region (for the first time) to attend her sister's wedding to an Arab and to find her young runaway brother, a deaf-mute who works the streets as a pickpocket under the charge of an Arab thief, Kechiche. The only person around who understands the young boys' problems is Brialy, a

married man with a penchant for Arab boys. When Bonnaire later meets Brialy's bisexual son, de la Brosse, romance blooms. Before long, however, Bonnaire has also fallen for Kechike. She finds herself caught between two poles--as de La Brosse's lover, she is a French woman exempt from the racial

division of her compatriots; as Kechike's lover, she is a French woman directly exposed to her country's Arab population. Former Cahiers du Cinema editor Techine has stated that his desire in THE INNOCENT is "to find tragedy in melodrama." Collaborating with scriptwriter Bonitzer (another Cahiers

regular), Techine has instead made a film that is part bad melodrama and part minor tragedy, neither of which contributes to a watchable whole. The film attempts to address frighteningly racist tensions in France between the right wing and the Arab population--and to parallel the characters'

secret political activities with their overtly Oedipal sexual proclivities. Instead, Techine and Bonitzer treat racism incidentally, as merely a catalyst for characters' actions or a force of human nature. THE INNOCENT is itself a great contradiction: on paper it has the potential to be a great

and intelligent film, but on screen it is a fraudulent diversion. (In French; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This effort from the stylish Techine is far less successful than his two previous pictures, RENDEZVOUS and SCENE OF THE CRIME. Beautifully photographed (by Berta) in a stunning widescreen, the film opens on the Mediterranean French coast, where Bonnaire ha… (more)

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