Abuse of Weakness

In 2004, at the age of 56, Catherine Breillat suffered a serious stroke. Her left side was initially paralyzed and after five months in the hospital she worked like a demon to walk again. Not long after, she prepared a screenplay of her novel Bad Love and decided to cast the notorious “swindler of the stars,” Christophe Rocancourt, fresh from a jail term for fraud. Over the next several months, Rocancourt took advantage of Breillat’s condition and stood by her side as she wrote him checks amounting to €650,000. She later took him to court, won her case, and chronicled the experience in a book that she has now adapted into a uniquely haunting film, which features a bold, tough performance by Isabelle Huppert as the Breillat figure and French/Portuguese rapper Kool Shen as the con man. [Synopsis courtesy of Film Society of Lincoln Center]