A deceptively gentle story of class and betrayal

Issue 
The wealthy Philippe and working-class Rachel in An Impossible Love.

Un Amor Impossible (An Impossible Love)
Directed by Catherine Corsini
Starring Virginie Efira, Niels Schneider, Jehnny Beth, Estelle Lescure, Ambre Hasaj & Sasha Alessandri-Torrès Garcia
Showing as part of the French Film Festival across Australia in March and April

This film is based on the controversial novel by Christine Angot, one of France’s angriest public intellectuals. The story is plainly autobiographical and leaves no painful fact unrevealed.

Beginning in the 1950s, it covers the 50-year long, difficult love relationship between a working-class woman and the wealthy man who leaves her a single mother. The impossibility of their union is due to their class difference.

The style is gentle and subtle. The viewer slowly starts to have doubts about the dashing, rich intellectual Philippe who sweeps into and out of the provincial, small town life of Rachel – leaving her to raise Chantel alone.

No brutality appears on screen, but behind the quiet façade the film is telling an awful truth.

The final scene alone is one of the most sophisticated pieces of acting and cinematography that you are likely to see, displayed without any cinematic pretense.

Gentle as it is, I was left steaming with anger, just like Christine Angot.