Song of Innocence, A (La Ravisseuse) (DVD Review)28 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Prebook 4/28/09; Street 6/2/09
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Gregoire Colin, Emilie Dequenne, Isild Le Besco.
It’s been said one cause of the 1789 French Revolution was that French royalty was completely indifferent to the abhorrent conditions of its citizens.
Little has changed among the classes in this 2005 French period drama set in 1877. A Song of Innocence features bourgeois men who hire young lactating peasant women as wet nurses and nannies — their full breasts the object of much fantasy.
So it is that ambitious and controlling architect Julien Orcus (Gregoire Colin) takes on the services of whimsical Angele-Marie (Isild Le Besco) for his wife, Charlotte (Emilie Dequenne), to nurse their newborn daughter, Marceline.
Apparently the sex was so unpleasant, convent-raised Charlotte is in no hurry to allow Julien back into her bed — much to his consternation and primary interest in fathering a son as quickly as possible. Romance and love appear best left to a woman’s imagination.
No surprise then that Angele-Marie is convinced that “men are all pigs.” While the camera has a hard time straying from her breasts, a bond develops with bored Charlotte (who shows little interest in child-rearing) — the two women ignore society’s strict master-servant relationship. Or do they?
Though part primer on child-rearing practices at the turn of the century, A Song of Innocence touches on motherly love, family and how involved a mother should be with her own child.