Entertainment

The Mom and the Whore: The End of Illusions


Presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, invisible since 1981, Jean Eustache’s film comes out in theaters. A provocative story that has retained all its insolence.

It was something. You have to remember. In 1973, The Mom and the Whore represented France at Cannes. Defense to compare to this year’s selection. This long chronicle of a poor young man arrived quietly on the screens. In a superb black and white, velvety and grainy, it was about sanitary tampons. The verb that came up most often was “kiss”. It was pronounced as one spits. Contemporaries thought it was an apology for sexual liberation. The post-sixty-eighters had blinders on. They did not want to see that this romance signed on the contrary the end of the illusions.

An unparalleled disenchantment floated through the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Jean-Pierre Léaud, with his scarves around his neck, had missed something with a certain Gilberte who was about to get married. He lived with Marie, who had patience with him, and slept with a fickle nurse. We were throwing horrors in our faces while practicing…

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