Dir: Stephanie Di Giusto | Cast: Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Benoit Magiel, Benjamin Bioloay | France, Drama 115′
Hair – or the lack or loss of it – is an emotive subject for both sexes. And particularly for women. Classical styled but highly original this unusual arthouse drama draws inspiration from a true story that scandalised Brittany in the 1870s.
French director Stephanie Di Giusto’s sophomore feature explores the life of a woman who is forced to reinvent herself when she arrives in a small village in Brittany, to be married. Nadia Tereszkiewicz is a force to be reckoned with in the title role of Rosalie. Her desperate desire to be loved and initial lack of confidence is due to a terrible secret. On her wedding night her new husband Abel (Benoit Magimel) throws her out of the house feeling cheated and appalled and unable to accept the rampant body hair that Rosalie has had since her birth.
But Rosalie refuses to be defined by a natural phenomenon. Challenged by her isolation in this small community she soon realises that a change of attitude is needed in order to secure her future and the success of her marriage to Abel, a bar owner struggling in debt. This change of perspective sees her gently blossoming with a growing acceptance of herself and a proud defiance that ripples out into all her relationships with surprising and often conflicting consequences.
Sumptuously captured in its ravishing rural locations this is an unsettling and thought-provoking film that questions traditional views of eroticism, sexuality and gender roles, touching on prejudice and also the male and female gaze. This understated look at the positive affects of perseverance, determination and self-belief is a triumph. MT
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2023 | UN CERTAIN REGARD