Pas douce

Director: Jeanne Waltz

France| 2007| 84 mins

The French title of this tale of anger, guilt and redemption translates literally as ‘not sweet’, and it refers to the film’s main character, a young woman named Fred. Played by the wonderful French actress Isild Le Besco, Fred appears at first as a solemn, delicate person with a gentle voice. But underneath that soft exterior is a defiant and selfdestructive rage that earns her the tart nickname.
Fred works as a nurse at a hospital in a small mountain town on the Franco- Swiss border; her boyfriend has broken up with her, and she no longer speaks to her father. She also has a rifle, and she’s an expert shot. She takes her rifle into the woods with the intention of killing herself, but is distracted by two teenagers engaged in a tussle. In the heat of her own selfdestructive turmoil, she impulsively turns the barrel on one of the boys. In a split second, an act of violence becomes an act of discovery that changes her life, and the boy’s, forever.

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