In the Shadow of Women

Synopsis: Pierre and Manon are a pair of poor documentary makers, who scrape by with odd jobs. When Pierre meets young trainee Elisabeth, he falls for her, but wants to keep Manon at the same time. But the new girl in his life finds out that Manon has a lover. When she tells Pierre, the time comes for difficult decisions all round.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Philippe Garrel
Production: SBS Productions
  3 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
73 min


In the shadow of women





You are supposed to keep this place

Bourgeois. It's in the contract.

- You are not allowed to come in here!

- But look at this mess!

- Do you think it's a campsite?

- The law forbids it.

But you cannot use a stove here. You may

set fire to the place. It's dangerous.

- You cannot come in here.

I'll call the police -Don't you know it?

Can't you keep a place in order?

Who raised you, madam?

I'm gonna throw you out! And quick!

If your rent is not paid in 48 hours

I'll sue you in a court.

This place looks like a caravan.


Don't cry.


Pierre was a documentary filmmaker.

Manon, his wife, worked with hum.

She was her script and her editor.

Manon seemed to live in her husband's

shadow so as to drive him to the light.

At that time, Pierre used to stick his

phone number on gutters to find a job.

Manon was a canteen

supervisor in a school.

I was 18 when the war began.

I dragged a friend of mine along.

Her mother was mad at me because...

We got arrested.

We were going to basements...

First we draw Lorraine Crosses

using chalks.

Then, V for Victory, in the streets.

We thought...

We can do better.

Let's be resistors.

That's what we did

with 10 of our comrades.

We hand-wrote some little leaflets.

We were amateur.

I remember...

It didn't last long.

We have been denounced.

And arrested.

But... The police did not find

a single clue in my house.

Here, children.

They could not detain my friend

Jacques and I for long.

It was...

in 42.

In 42 I rallied real Resistance.

I cooked it myself.

In a group...

of Communist obedience.

I ignored it.

It has anise flavour.

I had a meeting around

the shops near the Louvre.

There, for 2 hours and a half...

I had to undergo a very

thorough interrogation.

I met them 2 or 3 times.

Until they told me...

Here you are.

You are one of us!

It is very fastidious to

talk about it because...

I have two sons, and...

They are totally unaware of

my activities as a resistor.

You never told them?

There is a lot of...

modesty, within old resistors.

You know, we still meet. But we

never talk about the Occupation.



Do you know why...

Pierre want to do a movie

about the resistance?

- Can I tell him?

- Yes.

His father took part in D-Day.

He was with the American.


I barely know his story

and he just died.


Have you done some research?

Did you find something?



He killed two guys. Two Nazis.

That's what he told me

before he died.

Someone had to do it.


I feel confident, Mom. Really.

Still, you could have carried on

studying languages.

Being a translator would

have been more secure.

I didn't want to be a translator.

I have a part-time job.

I earn money...

and I still have time to work

on Pierre's films.

We have ti be patient.

It will be fruitful in the end.

- Do you think?

- No doubt.

When you met Pierre,

you were on your way.

Too bad you drift away from it.

You tell me so?

You've been a great lover!

Yes, I was a lover.

Of whom?

No man is worth

the sacrifice of our life.

It's not a sacrifice. It's my choice.

- Really?

- Yes.

What is better than working

with the man I love?

We share the same projects.

This is our love.

- Are you sure he as talent?

- Yes I am.

He'll have to show it one day.

The time will come.

I promise.

What he does, anyone can do.

Interview people, film their answers...

- Anyone can do it.

- How can you think that?

He know how to... listen.



He asks the right questions.

Sometimes he just waits.

Without saying a word.

Some people can't stand the silence.

So they say things they would

not admit if they were asked.

Yes. Not anyone can do that.

I'm telling you...

We'll get by.

Someday his talent will be renowned.

Yes, but...


I have to go.

Hold it for me please.

Just a bit higher.


How do I look?

You're very beautiful Mom.

See you soon, darling.

See you soon.


Can I help you?

Thank you.

I'm going to the parking.

There is more.

- What are you doing here?

- An internship in the archive.

I know where I can find you now.

Here. All of it.

- 21.

- What is your name?

- Elisabeth.

- I'm Pierre.

- Hurry up or we'll be late.

- I'm staying here.

What do you mean?

Are you kidding me?

We were supposed to go together.

I don't feel like it anymore.

I disagree. I'm bored to go out alone.

Come on, let's go.

What will I do there

if you are not with me?

I won't go. I don't want to.

I've thought about it. If you go alone,

Sylvain will pay for the meal.

Or someone else.

You can't see it but I hate you.

Her room is just beneath.

She will hear us if we both go.

Because of the floor.

So what do we do?

I'll go first.

Then you'll rejoin me.

Take off your shoes.

Come in. Slowly.

I feel like I'm 14.

Me too.

- I have to tell you...

- What?

I'm married.

I knew it.

You have four sisters?!


I have only 3 real sisters.

And one brother.

But I have two more sisters.

So I have 5 sisters.

And one brother.

You're the eldest?

No. I'm the third.

All of us are different.

Are the youngest going to school?

I'm the only one studying.

I'm the only one following my father's

wish since his change of social class.

My parents...

come from the lower class.

They became Bourgeois.

My father became a Bourgeois.

He always dreamt...

that his children...

receive an elitist education.

The others messed up their studies.

He didn't care much about me,

but I'm the only one succeeding.

What did you study?


I went to a preparatory class.

Then I went to university.

To study history.

Now I'm doing my PhD.

What do you think is worse?

Pee where you shower or

shower where you pee?

Shower where you pee.

Thank you!

It's very kind of you.

You didn't like flowers before.

Now you do.

Because flowers are

a classic gift to cuckold women.

The husband goes to his mistress

then brings flowers on his way home.

Every time I saw you with flowers

I thought something was wrong.

Now I trust you.

Don't you know all the girls

are wary when a man brings flowers?

It's a classic.


You didn't know?

I wasn't well aware of

the Jewish issues under the Occupation.

You didn't know?

I had no Jewish acquaintance.

We did not know.

We learned later.

After the liberation, the camps...


had been arrested and sent to jail.

I never heard of

the Vl' d'Hiv' raid.

I had never endured

such a difficult shooting.

When Paris was liberated,

the streets were desert.

People were hiding home.

We were alone in the street.

I can never forget...

A mass, hidden in a black neck.

Saint-Martin's gate

was monitoring the detour.


With a black and white beard...

And small eyes.

An empty look.

The vision of an ill brain.

A big dead baby.

Back from hell.


It was a man.

It was a man... God!

The kind of...

the dominant race.

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Jean-Claude Carrière

Jean-Claude Carrière (French: [ka.ʁjɛʁ]; born 17 September 1931) is a French novelist, screenwriter, actor, and Academy Award honoree. He was an alumnus of the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud and was president of La Fémis, the French state film school. Carrière was a frequent collaborator with Luis Buñuel on the screenplays of Buñuel's late French films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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