In a series unusually rich with depictions of young women, some of the most provocative occur in Philippe Faucon's Samia, a small but passionate film about the struggle for autonomy by the teenage daughters of a traditional Algerian immigrant family, and Saint-Cyr, Patricia Mazuy's costume drama about the wife of Louis XIV (a steely Isabelle Huppert), who founded a boarding school for the daughters of impoverished nobility. Mazuy, who directed the feverish coming-of-age piece Travolta and Me, seems a bit weighed down by the pomp and circumstance, but she points up the feminist contradictions in being a tool of church and state with intelligence and authority.
Rendez-Vous With French Cinema
March 9 through 18
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