Sans toit ni loi
Directed by Agnes Varda
I was exaggerating before when I said that nearly every List movie has some sort of rape scene. It is still a bit of an overstatement, but here we are again with a film that depicts sexual assault. I have to figure it's about one in seven movies on the List that have a rape scene by the amount I complain about it. We should really crunch the numbers on it. Of course, in real life, it's something like one in five women will be the victim of some sort of sexual assault so I suppose it should be represented on screen. Still, Is it too much to ask for a bit of escapism?
The movie starts with a farmer finding the body of a young woman in his field. We learn through a series of mock interviews with the actors that her name is Mona. She is a drifter and no one really knows anything about her. The film follows Mona's last days and the effect she had on the people who met her.
I always get a thrill of excitement when there is a female director on the List, since they are few and far between. This was a good film, but perhaps not as good as I wanted it to be. Mona is a great character. It was fascinating watching the other characters romanticize her life, without actually nothing anything about her or her hardships. At times she seemed to think it was glamorize it too. Still, the audience spends the whole movie knowing the brutal truth about how her "freedom" ends.
I will say that the sexual assault scene didn't feel gratuitous. It showed how us how dangerous and terrible Mona's way of life was, making me wonder what Mona was running away from if this hell was a better alternative.
Still, I can imagine many people would be bored watching the incidents of her life as none of them could really qualify as"adventures" and really got quite dull during the middle stretch. I have definitely enjoyed reflecting on it more than I enjoyed watching it.
The title is a play on the French idiom, "without faith, nor law."