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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Pour une femme" )


directed by Diane Kurys
France 2013


When her mother dies, her filmmaker daughter Anne (Sylvie Testud, LOURDES) discovers in her "suitcase of secrets" photographs from just after the war from which she tries to reconstruct a time when her parents were happy (they separated six years after her birth). Ukranian Jewish refugees Michel Korsky (Benoît Magimel, THE FLOWER OF EVIL) and Lena (Mélanie Thierry, THE LEGEND OF 1900) return to Paris to discover his parents and siblings gone and no record of them on any lists. They simultaneously seek membership in the local communist party and French citizenship for themselves and unborn daughter Tania, through which Michel is able to acquire a shop for his tailoring business. When Michel's younger brother Jean (Nicolas Duvauchelle, WHITE MATERIAL) shows up out of nowhere, he is overjoyed to discover one of his family is still alive and welcomes him into his home and business - along with comrade - Sacha (Clément Sibony, DEEP IN THE WOODS) who has no qualifications but survived Auschwitz - despite his suspicions that Jean is a deserter. Cracks start to appear in what Lena describes to Jean as a "sham marriage" (since total stranger Michel rescued her from the gas chamber by marrying her) as her friend Madeleine (Clotilde Hesme, MYSTERIES OF LISBON) - who has been cuckolding her husband Maurice (Denis Podalydès, CACHÉ [HIDDEN]) with a younger party member (Marc Ruchmann, 5X2) - provides her with a copy of "Madame Bovary" and Jean provides a listening ear as well as an adventurous alternative to Michel's ideal of hearth and home. The brothers' differing political views have already set them at odds, but Lena finds herself torn between them when Michel learns from the police that Jean is wanted for the murder of a German misidentified as a Nazi officer and Jean must go on the run after taking out the intended target. Back in the present, Anne may never find out what became of Jean as her father (Magimel in old age make-up) is dying and her older sister Tania (Julie Ferrier, MICMACS) is unwilling to "stir up shit".

"When parents disappear, they leave us some old photos, and unanswered questions. We grow up unaware." Based loosely on the story of director Diane Kurys' (ENTRE NOUS) own parents who met in a concentration camp, FOR A WOMAN is a grand love story, or even a reworking of "Madame Bovary", so much as a look at how feelings change over time as people grow (as well as as how even long-festering emotional wounds can be easily and suddenly forgiven). Politically-naive Lena's lust for Jean seems shallow however dull Michel seems in comparison but it can also be seen as representative of her recognition and assertion of her desires (not all sexual) following a long period in which survival was the only goal. The overly simplistic perspective can also be explained by way of Anne's imagining of what her parents were like before she was born or "a life you're making up" - as her sister describes it - in order to conceive of a time when her estranged parents would have been in love (even if it turns out that it was never mutual).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 2 May 2014 (USA)

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:50:24

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio French Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, English (CC), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
• Biographies
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:06)
• Short Film by Sylvain Bressollette 'Le Ballon de Rouge' (16:9; 20:05)
• Film Movement Trailers: 'Grisgris', 'The Auction', 'Ilo Ilo', 'Free Men', 'The Jewish Cardinal', and
• 'A Bottle in the Gaza Sea'

DVD Release Date: October 21st, 2014

Chapters 12



Also available on French Blu-ray HERE (has optional English subtitles)

Film Movement's dual-layer disc features a progressive, anamorphic transfer features minute edge enhancement, but the original 35mm photography favors a certain softness in the lighting and generally toned down colors (Lena's red dress during the climax is one of the few colors that really stands out from the palette). The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is constantly active during the period scenes in creating an immersing atmosphere both outside and in the apartment interiors (a 2.0 stereo track is also available). The optional English subtitles (and closed captioning text) is free of errors.

Extras include text biographies, the film's trailer, trailers for other Film Movement titles, and the short film Le Ballon de Rouge which is a more lyrical imagining by characters of a life never lived. The inside cover includes a statement by Film Movement about why they selected the title and extracts from an interview with the director.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC


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