Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


Though times are tough, the women workers of a provincial toy factory are given new smocks to assure them of their company’s stability. But they show up the next day to find the factory empty, its machinery and management nowhere to be seen. Now "redundant," they decide to pool their paltry compensation money toward a common goal, suggested by Louise: hire a hit man to kill the company’s owner. Enter Michel, a paranoid security manager at a trailer park, who offers no credentials but has a formidable gun collection. Partners in crime, Louise and Michel work their way up the corporate food chain behind the factory closure.

Aptly dedicated to nineteenth-century French anarchist Louise Michel, this quixotic revenge comedy from Gustave de Kervern and Benoît Delépine, makers of the wildly-surreal Avida, tosses decorum aside as it joyfully sifts through the underlying perversion of life. Propelled by rebellious humor, cartoonlike inventiveness, and an indie rock soundtrack, it’s also brutally dark. Michel, a killer who can’t even shoot a dog, much less a person, resorts to using terminally ill patients to do his dirty work. Downtrodden, mildly retarded Louise traps live animals for food and—unable to afford booze—buys lighter fluid. They may set out for revenge against capitalism, but their real oppressor is nature itself, which has cruelly twisted them.

— John Nein

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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