Claire Simon
France | 2008 | 122 min
Language : French
Subtitle : English

In Les Bureaux de Dieu, Nathalie Baye, Nicole Garcia, Isabelle Carré, Béatrice Dalle, Marceline-Loridan-Ivens, etc. (in reference to the Manifesto of the “343 sluts” in which celebrities called for the legalisation of abortion in 1971) play Family Planning “advisors” to amateur actresses. They act out real stories from before the shoot, based on the transcripts of sound recordings made in several offices between 2000 and 2007. Through this huis-clos in which the biological fate of the women is developed, at the intersection of private life and society, the filmmaker captures the effect that words produce on someone who is listening, by choosing to film the interviews in angle/counter angles linked to sequenced shots. With none of the protagonists knowing in advance who their interlocutor will be, Claire Simon oversteps the border between documentary and fiction. We thus witness an instant that is unique each time, in which women play their own “role”, questioning, from one generation to the next, their right—still contested—to decide what to do with their body and their life.

Emmanuel Chicon

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