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On February 2nd 1933, in the town of Le Mans, in the West of France, two sisters, Christine Papin, 27, and her younger sister Léa Papin, 21, brutally killed their employer Mrs. Ancelin and her daughter Geneviève. Why did they commit this horrifying murder? As a result of an unhappy childhood? Because they could no longer stand being commanded and exploited by arrogant bourgeois employers? Because their incestuous relationship had been exposed? The film tries to answer these questions and make us understand why and how the two sisters turned from meek sheep to bloody monsters.Written by
Sorry, but historical accuracy, t & a and good sub-titles aren't enough. As a true-crime fan, I was intregued by this film's attempt to re-construct the lives of these two women as a way of trying to understand their crimes, but the heavy-handedness of the director combined with the sweaty, gross-out sexuality between the two sisters kind of spoiled it for me (There's a sex-scene combining incest, hairy armpits and crepes that I found utterly appalling). The "bad" characters were too overly bad, the "crazy" ones were overly crazy; by presenting this polarized view of life, the director robbed the film of exactly the ambiguity that made these crimes so shocking and difficult to understand. I do, however, give high marks to the scenes of the crimes themselves--which were effectivly shocking--and to the character of the maid's mother who was a multi-dimensional, interesting and surprising character.
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