In 1865, Timothee, a wanderer, arrives in a village in southern France pretending he is deaf and mute. There, he is struck by the beauty of a young woman, Josephine, and asks for hospitality at the house of Dr Hughes, her father. At dinner, he makes strange tricks inducing weird reactions in Josephine. The next day, he comes back when she is alone and makes her fall in a state of hypnotic lethargy before taking advantage of her. Overwhelmed by his powerful hypnotic gift, she follows him even though she seems to be disgusted and afraid of him. He takes her deep into the woods and continues to abuse her until he is arrested and tried. But how did Josephine accept to follow him?
France, around 1900. Coming from the vibrancy of Paris, pert Célestine is procured as a chambermaid in Normandy. In the Lanlaire’s villa she encounters the lecherous man of the house and his asexual, tyrannical and jealous wife. Célestine is determined to avoid the fate suffered by the cook Marianne who has already secretly killed one child born out of wedlock and now despairingly realises she is pregnant again. The lively maid is intrigued by what the mysterious manservant Joseph is up to: he distributes anti-Semitic leaflets and suggests that she could work for him as a prostitute in Cherbourg. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]
One night in a French provincial city, Marc meets Sylvie. They wander the streets until morning and set a date to meet in Paris a few days later. When Marc doesn’t show up on time a twist of fate leaves him romantically torn between two sisters. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]