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Saturday, October 14, 2017

L'Amour D'une Femme (1953)

A young female doctor (Micheline Presle) arrives at a desolate French island in the English Channel to take the place of the 70 year old doctor (Robert Naly) who is retiring. She has to overcome prejudice toward women doctors from the island's male population but she quickly finds romance with an Italian engineer (Massimo Girotti), who also has old fashioned ideas about women. Directed by Jean Gremillon. Although it would be perhaps stretching it to call this a feminist drama, the film is remarkably prescient in its observations regarding the pressure women have of choosing between a husband and family and a career. Presle's character is a dedicated doctor yet to the "macho" Italian who wants to marry her, a career is something a woman has until she gets married and doesn't have to work anymore. The film and Presle are very good at showing the complexities on all sides and avoids the strict black and white lines that a more contemporary film would most likely have on the subject. The film's final close up of Presle displays the pain of a decision which may be "right" but doesn't make it any easier. With Gaby Morlay and Paolo Stoppa.

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