In a French village, Manou is an Italian logger, virile, with a broad laugh. He can’t say no to women’s sexual invitations, and jealous villagers blame him for recent fires and a flood. He is innocent; the culprit is “Mademoiselle,” town schoolmarm, a recent arrival admired by all, but sexually repressed and obsessed with Manou. She sets the first fire accidentally and throbs watching a shirtless Manou perform heroics. Subsequent catastrophes are no accident and express her mad passion for him. Also, after befriending Manou’s son, she turns on the lad, making him miserable and raising his suspicions. Her designs, Manou’s frank innocence, and the town’s xenophobia mix explosively.
User Reviews: This movie, most notable for its authors, Playwright Jean Genet, is a lost classic which one ups Bunuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid in its portrayal of the secret twisted desires of the rural french. Jeanne Moreau stars as a teacher in a rural french village. Her secret desire for the Italian logger Manou leads her to acts of brutal destruction on the town. A brilliant story combined with luscious camera work and nearly silent but incredibly tense scenes with Jeanne Moreau lead to making this movie an absolute must see.