Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2001
USA: New Yorker
Cast: Catherine Frot, Vincent Lindon, Rachida Brakni, Line Renaud, Aurelien Wiik, Ivan Franek, Chloe Lambert, Marie Denarnaud, Michel Lagueyrie, Wojciech Pszoniak, Eric Poulain, Omar-Echeriff Attalah, Hajar Nouma, Jean-Marc Stehle, Lea Drucker, Nicolas Serreau, Jean-Loup Michou, Julie Durand, Simon Bakhouche, Delphine Bibet, Sylvain Raboutet, Nicolas Lartigue, Vincent Branchet, David Gabison
Director: Coline Serreau
Country: France
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA: 109 mins
USA Release Date: 29 January 2003 (Limited Release - New York)


Helene (Catherine Frot) and Paul Vidal (Vincent Lindon) are a bourgeois French couple who are constantly racing through the day to keep up with al their obligations, barely taking the time to look at each other. As they are rushing off to an engagement, Paul and Helene witness Malika (Rachida Brakni), a young prostitute, being violently attacked by a group of men just outside of their car. As Malika is beaten and left for dead, Paul locks the doors and speeds off. Malika ends up hostpitalised and in a coma.

The following morning Helene is overwhelmed with guilt and decides to locate the woman she saw victimised. She finds Malika in hospital and becomes determined to care for the young woman. Helene puts all of her obligations aside to be with Malika and help her recover.

While caring for her, Helene becomes aware that the pimps who attacked Malika refuse to leave her alone. So, she makes herself responsible, not only for restoring Malika's health, but also maintaining her safety. As she nurses Malika through her recovery, Helene realises that her life has been changed forever. She can never return to her selfish husband and son. She belongs with Malika, who desperately needs her, as the criminals who beat her have no intention of letting her live.

With Helene gone, her husband Paul is revealed as being totally helpless, unable to complete even the simplest of household tasks. Their hypocritical teenage son Fabrice (Aurelien Wiik) is a mirror image of his father and soon gets into hot water with both his fiancee and his girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Malika tells Helene her shocking history. She ran away from her family after her father sold her to an Algerian businessman. Homeless, living on the streets, she was turned into a sex slave by a vicious criminal organisation, using the name Noemie. But Malika has worked out an elaborate plot to get both her freedom and her revenge and she enlists Helene to aid her...

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