Au Bonheur des Dames

Au Bonheur des Dames

classified PG

Cities, Future Cities, and Film


Please note: This was screened in Oct 2019

Julien Duvivier
Dita Parlo, Ginette Maddie, Andrée Brabant
90 mins, 1930, France
Primary language

‘The big department store versus the little shop, a problem that still exists today; a cruel unfair struggle...’

Set within the glamourous world of a Parisian department store, Julien Duvivier’s long-forgotten masterpiece was one of the last silent films to be made in France and is ripe for rediscovery thanks to this brand new restoration by Lobster Films, Paris.

Dita Parlo, a German actress who later appeared in Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante (1934) and Jean Renoir’s The Grand Illusion (1937), plays a wide-eyed innocent from the country who is relocated to the city of lights and is lured away from her uncle’s small shop by the richness of the department store. While Duvivier’s film celebrates the richness of Parisian life, it is, at the same time, a damning portrait of rampant consumerism and the demise of small, local shops.

Directed by the iconic director of future celebrated French classics such as La belle équipe (1936), Pépé le Moko (1936) and Un carnet de bal (1937), Julien Duvivier’s breathtaking Au Bonheur des Dames will leave you laughing, crying and asking for more.

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