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The Depths
(Les abysses)

Directed by Nikos Papatakis.
With Francine Bergé, Colette Bergé, Pascale de Boysson.
France, 1963, DCP, black & white, 90 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: Gaumont

Adapted from Jean Genet's play Les Bonnes, which had already caused a scandal, the first film of outsider Nikos Papatakis—a figure of the intelligentsia of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and producer of both Genet and Cassavetes—is a violent denunciation of the exploitation of women at work, exalting their revolt in a spectacular way. Notably supported by Sartre, de Beauvoir and André Breton, the film screened at Cannes thanks to André Malraux, despite the opposition of all those who saw it as metaphorically supporting the struggle for Algerian independence.

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