In occupied France during WWII, an impoverished young mother of two children performs illegal abortions on women whose husbands are away in war; she soon begins to rent out one of her rooms to prostitutes who want to entertain clients. When her husband is released from a German prison and comes back home, their relationship takes a plunge as she continues with her clandestine activities. She aspires to be a singer, has an affair with a collaborator, and is confident and happy in her newly found lifestyle. But the threat of capital punishment looms large over her – because abortions are deemed as treason under a new law to check ‘immoral’ behaviour and punishable by death by guillotine.
Based on a true account, UN AFFAIRE DU FEMMES (STORY OF WOMEN, 1988) by French master Claude Chabrol is a hard-hitting film that calls out the hypocrisy and irrationality that pervaded every sphere of life under German occupation. And of course, Isabelle Huppert’s performance in the lead is amongst the finest performances in world cinema that fetched her the Best Actress award in the 45th Venice International Film Festival.
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