Violette (2013) Movie Script

"Ugliness in a woman
is a mortal sin.
"If you're beautiful.
"you are looked at
for your beauty.
"If you're ugly.
"you are looked at
for your ugliness."
The door!
My money!
It's all I could get.
Where were you?
I was worried sick.
You take too much every time.
I spent 3 days in jail
thanks to you!
And I worked well
thanks to your absence.
You gave me the address
for the lamb and sausage.
Greed. my dear Violette.
is your vice not mine.
Without me. you'd be starving
in Paris. like everyone else!
- Can you get any beef?
- It's dear.
Here's an advance.
I can do a lot for you.
Do you want
to get yourself killed?
To think I washed my hair for you.
When I leave you.
it will be too late.
It will kill you.
If you want to make me happy.
read my manuscript.
I need to know
what you think of it.
You don't like it?
It's just for your famous friends.
You never mention me. Ever.
If I wrote. I'd only talk
about my love for you.
I've been telling you for years.
I can't.
Take me in your arms.
Touch me.
Don't start this again!
Close your eyes.
Imagine I'm someone else.
You're mad!
You need treatment.
You're a monster.
a manipulator.
That's what you are!
You passed me off
as your wife!
You forced me to play
the young bride.
I'm trapped now.
We came here to eat our fill.
I wasn't to know the war would last.
Tell me about what you read.
Your opinion matters to me.
I won't tell you anything!
You're like my mother.
Selfish! Perverse!
And you a horrible female:
conformist and stupid!
There will be nothing between us.
Get that into your skull.
I could kill myself. you know!
Take this notebook.
Go park your arse
under an apple tree.
Spit out on paper everything
that makes you so unbearable.
We'll all be the better for it.
"My mother never took my hand."
"My mother never took my hand.
"She would help me off the pavement
"by pinching the loose cloth
around the armhole of my coat.
"Listen to me.
Try to understand."
"It was humiliating.
"I'd push her hand away.
"She'd pinch me harder
and lift me up
"like a chicken held by a wing.
"I would become limp
and stop walking.
"My mother saw my tears.
"'You want to get crushed?
You're crying?'
"It was she who crushed me."
My poor child.
I've only one thing to say to you.
All you have to do is continue.
You're leaving
without telling me?
I have to find money.
How will we live?
Let me go back to Paris.
I'll ask those cheapskates at the NRF
to buy my manuscript.
You thought it was alright.
And my rich pals
won't leave me like this.
You told me everyone hated you...
Shut up!
You'll get hurt.
You're raving!
I've killed no one.
That Jewish girl at the station...
She knew you.
Why did she give you money?
- Know what people are saying?
- Stop harassing me!
I'll be back in a week.
I can't live without you.
You're lying!
You won't come back.
You're abandoning me. too.
Who's there?
Maurice's friend.
Just a second.
My son wants to see you.
I'll let you in.
Come in.
Stay there. I'll be right back.
Simone de Beauvoir. who's she?
A friend of my son.
A woman writing such a big book!
Have you read it?
A story of a mnage 3.
no thank you!
A woman between 2 men?
A woman between a man
and a woman.
Here's my son.
- So you're Maurice's friend?
- I am.
Do you want me
to come see you?
Would you feel better
if I were with you?
He's stuck in Germany.
near Hamburg.
A pregnancy certificate
would secure his release.
I have a doctor.
It won't pose a problem.
Why did he go there?
He enrolled as a voluntary worker.
Things took a bad turn.
A bad turn.
what does that mean?
I shan't judge him.
He's my friend.
No. Find another dummy.
You're signing his death warrant.
You must be joking!
Maurice can manage without me.
- Who's there?
- It's me.
You're in bed in the afternoon.
What's wrong this time?
We were expecting you for lunch.
Did you write this?
In the Prison...
Don't touch that!
What a cheerful title.
Here. Ox cheek.
Boil it for a long time.
It's for Michel.
Return the cloth.
You think of your brother now?
I'd like some eggs.
You see?
Tell him they're from me.
Can't you find a real job?
The war is over.
You're still living like a thief.
You're taking advantage too!
For once I'm making money.
Well I never!
You're not depriving yourself.
With the money you're making.
you could rent something better.
I have other plans.
- Yes?
- Miss Debaralle?
- It's me.
- Stay there.
- Here.
- Thanks.
It's the exact amount.
Debaralle. what an idea!
It's for business.
It's my father's name.
It had better not go to your head.
Debaralle. heavens!
If the police arrest you.
say your name's Debaralle.
That'd piss them off
in Valenciennes!
Hello. madam...
Dear madam...
No that.
Hello. madam.
Dear madam...
Hello. I read She Came to Stay.
Thank you for daring.
I put my life into it.
Sorry. I'm in a hurry.
I'll read it. I promise.
- I sold everything.
- You promised.
Go see Marcel.
- I need coffee and sugar.
- Forget it. Les Halles has reopened.
I've got a kilo of bacon
and some pt. That's all.
- OK. I'll take the lot. How much?
- 2.000.
That's a bit steep. 1.500.
OK. it's a deal.
Come on!
- My money! I lost my money.
- Get a move on.
I read your book.
Let's talk.
Tomorrow at 3pm.
You have my address.
Hello. Violette.
Hello. madam.
May I call you Violette?
Come in.
I must apologise first.
I took you
for a frivolous bourgeois.
whose childhood memories
would bore me. I was mistaken.
You've written a beautiful book.
Powerful. Intrepid.
That's what counts.
Have you been writing long?
No. Well. not much.
A few articles.
- Maurice made me.
- The Maurice in the book?
Yes. Maurice Sachs.
Ah. Maurice Sachs.
Has he read it?
The beginning.
He's in Germany.
Yes. I know.
Have you had any news?
No. And I'm not expecting any.
Maurice is the opposite of you.
He's someone who hides.
especially behind words.
But he gave you the impetus.
the desire to write.
The pages devoted to him
please me less.
It would be better to remove them.
Keep them for another book. maybe...
I intend to give your manuscript
to Albert Camus.
who's creating a collection
at the NRF.
Make the changes
as soon as possible.
You should rework
some passages.
Your father. for instance.
We know nothing.
He's a ghost.
His cowardice made you a bastard.
Go into more detail.
I need your manuscript in a week.
ten days at most.
We'll see each other again.
Well done. Violette.
We will work well together.
Doing that to me... Bastard!
No! No...
Go see.
- Is my mother here?
- Be nice to her.
Simone de Beauvoir liked my book.
I'm being published!
And I'm leaving Paris.
Ernest bought a farm
without consulting me.
You shouldn't have married him!
Don't make things worse!
It's hard enough as it is.
Sorry. sorry. sorry.
Please forgive me. I'm sorry.
Come live with me.
Leave him.
He doesn't deserve you.
- And your brother?
- We'll look after him.
I'll support you.
Where will we live?
In your rabbit hutch?
I'll rent a bigger flat.
The black market is over.
I'm taking control of my life.
Everything is going to change.
You're dreaming. Violette.
Nothing ever changes.
"'You deserve better.'"
"He said it so kindly.
"Come home. Calm down.'
"I was humiliated for Mother.
"'I promise I'll think about it.'
"I wanted her to be tough. decisive.
"Why did he pity her?
"'A millstone around my neck.
A millstone!'
"She wanted to pounce on him.
but he ran away.
"He took refuge in his big house.
This came for you earlier.
- Thank you. Mrs Oustier.
- At your service.
To Violette.
An author you should like.
Kind regards.
S. De Beauvoir
Ah. Violette...
- See you tomorrow.
- Goodbye. Nathalie.
I'm sorry. I'm busy.
I've finished.
You're quick. That's good.
Foie gras.
A camembert. It's ripe.
And some pt.
- You're a black marketeer?
- I was. It's over.
How much do I owe you?
Nothing. It's a gift.
Thank you. I have to go.
I have company.
See you very soon.
Have you heard?
What about him?
He died in Germany.
Shot in the head.
"I said.
"'My friend is dead.'
"I repeated it.
"I said.
"I tried to find the word.
"A syllable.
it doesn't take long to cross.
"Pronounce this syllable
as you wish."
I have an appointment
with Albert Camus.
- Who shall I say is here?
- Violette Leduc.
- For the book signing.
- You're early.
- Yes. a bit.
- Follow me.
Why aren't I published
in the Blanche collection?
The cover is so dull.
It's so we can afford
a bigger print-run.
Here's the list of journalists.
Mr Camus will come see you.
That's what he said.
But I don't know any of them.
What does one write to a stranger?
The usual phrase is.
"Respects from the author."
Respects from the author?
I sending my book to the critics!
You will receive
your copies in the post.
Careful. I have a cold!
I've something for you.
In the Prison of Her Skin
It's coming out next week.
And published by Gallimard too.
I don't know this collection.
It's a new collection.
created by Albert Camus.
A big print-run.
Albert Camus. gosh!
I'm happy for you. Violette.
You thought you'd do nothing.
You'll read it. won't you?
And we'll meet again.
Say we'll see each other. Hermine.
We've been apart too long.
Tell me about you.
There's not much to say.
Still the same.
Work. plenty of work.
And my pupils.
But I'm not complaining.
I get long holidays.
- And the other?
- Fine.
Your hands.
They've changed.
It's the washing-up.
I have to go.
- Still in St Lazare?
- Don't insist!
- I want to see you again.
- You're hurting me!
Are you still angry?
Tell me about your abortion.
There's nothing to say.
You know as much as I do.
How far gone were you?
Five and a half.
I almost died.
The baby had to be extracted.
It was it or me.
- My husband wanted to keep it.
- You were married?
Not very long.
I used to live with a woman.
That didn't work out either.
I thought the status of wife
would clean the slate.
make the same as others.
Do you regret it?
It'd have been like me.
It'd have suffered.
I'd have killed it.
My mother didn't kill me.
I've criticised her for that.
Marriage is a sham. Violette.
For women. it's slavery.
You understood before them.
Freedom for women
means financial independence.
But that's a long way off.
My first romance
was in boarding school.
Her name was Isabelle.
It lasted an entire school year.
My mother separated us.
I never saw her again.
I still imagine bumping into her.
In the street or metro.
You must write about it.
- I couldn't.
- You can. I'll be by your side.
You'll have to go
even further. Tell all.
Your trafficking. relationships
and your abortion.
It would help many women.
- Evening. Castor.
- Ah. Genet.
What good timing! Violette Leduc.
whom I told you about.
Jean Genet.
You're the greatest.
No kidding!
Castor told me
your book was great.
I'm no match for you.
Don't be so modest.
Did you dine with Sartre?
Yes. We drank too much as usual.
He's gone home to bed.
I wake up at this hour. Scotch.
No. It's on me.
Sir. 3 scotches.
- Excuse me
- Yes?
I'm looking for a novel.
In the Prison of Her Skin.
Which author?
Something or other Leduc.
Violette Leduc.
Gallimard has just published it.
Collection Espoir.
Never heard of it.
It isn't in any bookstore.
Do you find that normal?
It happens to unimportant authors.
The publisher decided
on a small print-run.
Shall I order it?
No. thank you. I'm visiting.
What's a small print-run?
- Sorry?
- Be precise.
What are you implying?
That it doesn't serve
the same treatment?
Just say so!
Say what you mean.
You only care
about Julien Green!
You're not in
your right mind
Not in my right mind?
How dare you!
I've understood your little game.
You take me for Violette Leduc.
I'm not Violette Leduc.
Violette Leduc's a dear friend.
Violette Leduc has friends
as well as talent!
And her friends spread the word!
I don't want to live anymore.
I know you. you'll live.
I'll make sure you do.
I've told everyone about it.
No one can find it anywhere.
I'll call Gaston Gallimard.
I promise you.
What will that change?
What will I live on now?
Everything has always
been harder for me.
Since I was a young child.
It doesn't stop.
It will never stop.
Think of writing.
of what it has given you.
It will give your everything
society has refused you.
But it takes time.
Carry on. Work.
If only I could hold your hand.
I'm holding yours.
I have to hang up now.
I love you.
What are you doing here?
It is because I'm ugly
that you don't love me?
Appearances matter little.
you should know that.
You don't like mine.
Just admit it.
Look. I'm very busy.
We'll discuss this another time.
What can I do for you to love me?
I'm a good person.
I can be so kind.
Stop whining.
I loathe it.
What will I live on now?
I've spent all my money.
Get back to work.
Write about your obsessions.
you'll find solutions.
Write for whom?
I don't interest anyone.
Write for yourself.
not for me.
It's your first book.
there'll be others.
Give yourself a chance.
That's enough. Get out!
If you have time to lose.
"If she told me
to remove my shoes.
"to run on pebbles.
bits of glass. thorns.
"I would do it.
"But she does not need
my bare feet on pebbles or glass.
"I understand.
"I shout because I understand.
"I dreamt you were loving me. madam.
"And I knew I was dreaming
while you were loving me.
"My place is within myself.
"The rest is vanity.
"Come. solitude.
"Come. with your long hair
falling over your face.
"Start to rumble.
organs of my desert.
"My heart. madam.
is my cross of honour.
"How could I conceive of
greeting you another way?
"I am travelling.
"I am a shifting glacier."
Am I bothering you?
I've brought someone
who liked your book.
You found it? You're lucky.
No one's interested in it.
I liked it immensely.
It's the kind of book
that breaks your heart.
That's kind.
Jacques likes writers.
He's mad enough
to collect manuscripts.
Jacques Gurin.
nice to meet you.
That's my husband's name too.
- Married?
- I was. Worse luck.
- You like women. you do.
- Not only.
Do you have any cigarettes?
I've run out.
Thank you.
You're working.
We don't want to disturb you.
A Calvados?
Calvados is all I have.
We won't get drunk.
Is that your husband.
It is. Do you mind?
A shrimp.
What do you do?
He's in perfumes.
He's a big boy.
He can answer.
Parfums d'Orsay. that's me.
You're rich. then.
Yes. And a bastard. like you.
A rich bastard.
They exist?
My father never recognised paternity.
Officially. he doesn't exist.
I spent my childhood hidden
in a house with my brother.
My mother visited us
from time to time.
Where did she live?
Elsewhere. with him.
- Who?
- My father.
He never married her.
He refused to leave his wife.
You see?
I'm rich and I'm a bastard.
That makes 3 of us.
I feel less alone.
I'm not sure I've a right
to that fabulous title.
seeing as I don't have
a mother or father.
To your prisons!
Cocteau liked it a lot.
Had you heard?
Can we take you out for dinner?
At this hour. I'm in no state.
But you go.
No. We'll eat here.
Got any food?
I'll go see.
Come to my place in the country.
You're welcome any time.
I would like you
to feel at home there.
Weekends in Luzarches are great.
We write sketches. fool around.
Jacques would like us
to play cinematographers.
Would you play the mother?
The mother?
Why the mother?
I have potatoes. That's all.
The abundance is over.
You're too much.
Does she know?
Finish it.
Give it to her.
She's an intelligent woman.
- She'll drop me.
- I don't think so.
She needs you.
Sartre's infatuated with me.
and her. you.
It keeps them balanced.
You need money? I have some.
Don't be embarrassed. Take it.
I'll promise I'll pay you back.
- Call Gurin. He likes you.
- In what way?
Stop. You're in love with Simone.
He isn't for you.
Neither is she.
I'll have you read something
of mine. A play. The Maids.
You inspire me. you know.
I'll dedicate it to you.
The Maids. Thanks!
My mother will be delighted.
"The cruel love I feel
"has made sweet
the bitterness of life."
I had no family.
I've found a sister.
Give me the first pages.
We'd sign the contract
and I could ask for an advance.
It's too soon.
I want to finish it.
Read it in one go.
You're so stubborn!
Tell me what it's about.
At least. that's clear.
And you?
You never talk about yourself.
I'm working on
the condition of women.
I just threw myself into it.
And now I realize
what a mountain I am tackling.
I was at a meeting with Sartre.
A man said. "You think that
because you're a woman."
I wasn't about to reply
he thought that
because he was a man.
I see everywhere
and all the time
men are within their rights
as they are men
and women in the wrong.
I don't know how
my book will be received.
It hits where it hurts.
I'm used to taking knocks.
Have you thought of a title?
I'm not sure.
but The Second Sex. maybe.
And you?
I know.
You're a terrible actress
as well as a pain!
- We'll do it again.
- No. I've had enough!
Carry on.
and I'll replace you.
And you hurt me. Look!
Just walk straight!
I told you
I couldn't play a mother.
- Don't take it out on the pram!
- Why not?
I'm ludicrous.
Jacques. defend me.
He's persecuting me.
And he's become mean.
Tell him he's mean.
Genet. you're mean!
I can't be a mother.
even for fun. I told you so.
I understand. Violette.
You can't understand.
You're not a woman.
You don't know
what it's like to get pregnant!
You see everything as a drama.
It's a game.
A game?
For you. it's a game.
But I felt mistreated...
used. humiliated even.
I thought you were less superficial.
I... I'm so sorry.
Everything hurts you.
We were simply trying
to have fun.
to please you.
To please me?
But... is that all?
But... what do you know
about pleasing me? Huh?
Do you know what
would please me right now?
Do you know what I really want?
Violette. this is ridiculous.
You know I like men.
Men. women...
It isn't about that.
I see the serious child in you.
Violette. let's not part like this.
Let me make a gesture.
I'll pay for a luxury edition
of your next book.
A limited edition on fine paper.
I did the same for Jean's
Miracle of the Rose.
Pauvert will take care of it.
He does it well. eh?
How is your book going?
I've almost finished.
Perfect. For this publication.
I'll give you 100.000 francs.
100.000 francs for you.
I'll finance the rest.
Simone de Beauvoir
won't like it.
You don't have to tell her.
I'll think about it.
Very well. very well.
Drive safely then.
See you soon!
You've done rather well.
For Miracle of the Rose.
he gave me 70.000.
Mind you. you won't see
your 100.000. He's tight.
But Jacques Gurin
is a perfumer.
- And a collector.
- I'm wary of collectors.
Really? Why?
They collect dead things.
You know that. Violette.
Words are alive.
They live in us. They act.
Worshipping objects is morbid.
He managed to save
Proust's manuscripts.
- Hello. Mr Meyer.
- Mrs Beauvoir.
I'm leaving.
Here are my keys.
Excellent. Mrs Beauvoir.
Bon voyage.
Thank you very much.
- Here.
- You've finished it at last.
I'll read it on the plane.
Gurin wants to publish
a luxury edition.
- Really?
- For money. 100.000 francs.
Gaillimard will never give you
such a generous advance.
And you'd welcome it.
It's unhoped for.
I can barely afford my rent.
Yes... But the book exists.
Don't look so glum.
I'm going away. I'm not dead.
When will you be back?
Le Bourget Airport. please.
What if the plane crashes
on the way to New York?
Mr Gurin is very busy.
It's rose season soon.
Yes. come in.
Mr Gurin. Miss Leduc.
Ah. Violette!
What a lovely surprise.
How are you?
Fine. thank you.
And your book?
I've finished it.
Are you happy with it?
Yes. I am.
And Simone de Beauvoir?
I just gave it to her.
- What can I do for you?
- I've come for the money.
If you haven't changed your mind.
Ah. not at all. Not at all.
Would you prefer
a cheque or cash?
Your rug is soft.
- Is it real?
- A real what?
Beautiful. isn't it?
It's a gift from my mother.
I thought about what you said.
We behaved like idiots.
Let's forget about it.
If you'd like to count it.
There's no need.
I trust you.
It's as simple as that.
Got any coal?
Just enough.
I'll fetch some tomorrow.
Leave that to men.
I'll bring up yours with mine.
- See you soon.
- Yes.
And my regards to your wife
and your daughter.
I'll tell them.
Leave that to men. Honestly!
If we left things to them...
And your book?
What about it?
In the Prison of Her Skin.
It isn't true what you say.
I sound like a monster.
You think so?
The lady on the wall. it's her.
Yes. it's her.
As if you didn't know!
Don't start misbehaving again
and embarrassing your mother.
You always belittle things.
Is the water closet on the landing?
Don't forget the paper.
You depress me. Violette.
You're living in the Middle Ages.
Don't worry about it.
Thank you.
I sell my eggs to the poulterer.
They're good. my eggs. you'll see.
Everyone wants them.
But I can't come up with dozens.
I do chickens too.
I leave the eggs by the oven.
You should see them breaking
the shells with their beaks.
It makes me want to cry.
Ernest says
it's my maternal instinct.
He's understanding. Ernest.
Violette. what's the matter?
I don't know.
but I feel giddy.
It happened in the street.
Do you think it's serious?
Silly goose.
You should be happy.
It's the menopause.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
You'll be able to enjoy it now.
Enjoy it? Enjoy what?
Find someone.
For that.
I'll have to be different.
What are you lacking?
Be feminine. And you'll succeed.
Be feminine.
for God's sake!
It isn't hard.
Look at your mother.
Where are you going?
- Is Mrs de Beauvoir back?
- No.
- The window's open.
- It's the cleaning lady.
- Are you sure?
- She isn't back.
You have her address.
She has her mail forwarded.
She left 3 months ago.
When is she back?
- I know no more than you.
- You know no more than me?
- You're hiding something.
- Are you done?
Mrs de Beauvoir isn't back.
She isn't here!
- Is Mrs de Beauvoir home?
- No.
- May I come in?
- Who are you?
You're insane!
Don't forget.
these women hate themselves.
They hate their condition
and. above all. they hate themselves.
They are incapable of loving.
All that remains
is the erotic ritual.
I don't understand.
Their hatred of Madame
is their hatred of themselves?
Please get back
into your positions.
Firstly. it is a rite.
It must be as tragic as possible.
This is Racine.
The women don't achieve their ends.
they destroy themselves.
Look at her gloves.
These are not any old gloves.
It is a rubber glove.
It must be at the heart of
your preoccupations. Yvette.
Monique. it isn't for me to say
what it represents.
- An erotic object?
- Indeed.
You make it come out
of the dishwater
and become skin. softness. fantasy.
Think about all this.
It's important. Back to work.
If you didn't like Famished.
at least tell me to my face.
Ah. Violette.
I was going to call you.
About time too!
Where have you been?
In the United States.
for a series of lectures.
In Chicago and California.
I got back 2 days ago.
You're lying!
What's all this racket?
Really. Simone!
Could we have a bit of quiet?
I don't have to justify myself.
Have you met someone?
Yes. An American.
Are you satisfied now?
- Do you love him?
- None of your business!
Famished is your most beautiful
and powerful piece.
but I didn't know
I was the object of love.
It isn't easy for me.
you understand.
Sartre thinks it's a great book
and Gaston Gallimard
will draw up a contract.
The Second Sex and Famished
will both come out in the autumn.
in the Blanche collection.
If only I could hate you.
What's going on?
No theatre rolls out
the red carpet for me.
I don't sell tons of books.
You can be so melodramatic.
Genet. I read your play.
It's rubbish!
Who asks Racine to be Rimbaud?
Or Rimbaud to be Racine?
Miss Leduc. please.
Last door on the left.
at the end of the corridor.
Thank you.
It's me.
I'm not presentable.
I'm worried.
You don't answer my telegrams.
Go away.
I haven't done the cleaning.
I don't do mine every day either.
It's nice here. It's warm.
I'm almost out of coal.
Is this where you work?
Do you think I'm ridiculous?
For collecting photos of me?
Quite frankly. yes.
I didn't come to discuss that.
The Second Sex
Thank you.
Well done. What an uproar!
Everyone's talking about it.
I'm upset by some reactions.
such as those of the communists.
Camus. who I esteem.
says I'm ridiculing French males.
One man said.
I was humiliated to be a woman
so I was trying to humiliate men.
It'll take time.
Would like some wine?
It's all I have.
I never refuse good wine.
This is quite ordinary.
I'm not here to discuss
Famished's failure.
You know what I think about
the failure of a book.
I don't put it down to the fact
you described your love for me.
Get that out of your head
once and for all.
The book exists.
It's good. It will survive.
I came to discuss your future.
I hope you're going
to get back down to work.
I've lost faith.
What about the project
you told me about ages ago?
Your 1st sexual experience
with a pupil.
when you were
a young boarder.
- Isabelle?
- Yes.
No one is interested
in girls sleeping together.
I might as well become
a streetwalker.
but with the way I look.
who'd actually pay me for it?
I'm an old. mad. neurotic failure.
- You're not.
- I am.
I'm over forty
and I've no future.
No one wants...
Alone. always alone.
I've no money.
no love life. nothing.
Gaston Gallimard
will pay you a monthly sum.
I don't know how much. but...
enough so you can live.
and write in peace.
Provided you get down to work.
Are you serious?
A good publisher makes money
from mediocre writers
who sell well
then gives it to talented writers
who sell less.
Or not at all.
Let's discuss your project.
There's my 1st experience
in boarding school.
Plus my life with Jacques.
the abortion and so on.
- I've even thought of a title.
- All in good time!
That's just like you.
What I experienced
was a ravage.
Nothing but demolition.
Make something constructive of it.
I'm going away for a while.
To see your American?
Not at all. We split up.
- I'm going to Norway.
- Who with?
Take me with you.
Don't leave me on my own.
Go away. You never do.
Don't you like travelling?
We couldn't afford to travel.
It isn't a question of money.
but of curiosity.
I expect your first pages.
Don't disappoint me.
Your post.
"Miss. having reviewed
the accounts of the NRF.
"I am delighted to inform you
we will pay you from January 1
"a monthly sum of 25.000 francs."
"...octopus in my entrails shivered.
"Isabelle drank from my breasts.
"I drank with her.
"I suckled on darkness
when her mouth moved away.
"I guided her hand
to those rare tears of joy."
"I dug into her neck
with my teeth.
"I breathed in the night
under her gown.
"The roots of a tree trembled.
"I hold her. I stifle the tree.
"I hold her. I stifle the voices.
"I hold her. I erase the light.
"May she come.
"May she lend me her shoulder
or may she borrow mine.
"May I have her face near mine.
"I must exchange innocence with her.
"She took me out of a world
"and threw me into another
I did not yet know.
"She taught me about humility.
"I scared myself.
"I am flesh and blood.
I am alive.
"I am not an idol."
"Dear Simone de Beauvoir.
"Ravages is advancing.
"I have left Isabelle
for my husband Jacques.
"I write to love them.
find them again. to not lose them.
"but I see the gulf widening
between the life I lead
"and the eroticism of my book."
Is Roussillon soon?
It's way back there.
We're near Vaison.
I wanted to get off at Roussillon!
Excuse me.
what's that village there?
I'm lost. Where are we?
Faucon. You're in Faucon.
Is there a hotel?
A hotel in Faucon?
There's none.
And a room?
Where can I find a room?
Who owns this house?
The owner is dead.
The children don't visit.
It's nice here.
What's that mountain?
Mount Ventoux.
It protects us from everything.
"It was the first time
I'd penetrated the intimacy
"of men's underwear.
"My hand brushed
a mound of tenderness.
"like a woman's breast.
"On him. I sought.
I groped. I found.
"I touched the wrinkled skin.
as delicate as an eyelid.
"He offered himself.
"I stifled my cry:
'It's my first time.'
"'You don't need that.'
my mother said."
try to see reason.
Violette Leduc is a great writer.
You treat her badly.
You were less fastidious
with Genet.
Maybe we should
get rid of the eroticism
and keep the emotion.
do a separate story
with the two schoolgirls?
If the author were less explicit
about her techniques...
You cannot bear a woman
being open about her sexuality.
Your mind is dirty.
- What does Sartre think?
- The same as I do.
She is a great writer
and will stand out.
And the passage on the abortion?
It won't get past the censors.
and you know it.
These things have to be said
once and for all!
Grasset and Albin-Michel agree.
if we make more drastic cuts.
With Gallimard.
we save the abortion passage.
Violette. you will be the first
to speak about it openly.
What do you advise?
Give in.
And if I resist?
I know exactly how you feel.
We'll put things right.
Violette. look at me.
You speak about women's sexuality
as no woman ever has.
With poetry. truth and more.
You'll be thanked for it one day.
I'm being mutilated.
It's awful.
Never... Goodbye.
Did you sleep well?
Sleep is important.
I tried to turn the pages quietly.
Good morning!
I'm sorry.
Visitors are not allowed.
She's sleeping.
I'm furious. They gave her EC despite my opposition.
I must speak to Dr Fouquet.
- Shall I come?
- There's no need.
I'm happy to help pay
for Violette's treatment.
Out of the question.
I'm very grateful for
the friendship you show her.
and your help.
One cannot be friends with
Violette Leduc. you know that.
It's a duty I'm fulfilling.
Excuse me. I'm in a hurry.
Violette Leduc Talks
About Love Like a Man
There are letters too.
The Mandarins
You can read it.
Listen to this.
"One must jump into Ravages
as into a fire.
"Violette Leduc
is scared of nothing.
"Her character is possessed
with an urge to love
"and turns into torturers
the people she loves.
"She dares say
what no one woman has:
"repressed things.
angels wrested from entrails."
You're halfway there.
I won't abandon you.
For the fiftieth year.
the Goncourts have awarded
their annual prize.
The jurors. including Francis Carco.
Roland Dorgels. Pierre Mac Orlan.
Philippe Hriat
and Armand Salacrou.
chose The Mandarins
by Simone de Beauvoir.
who did not appear.
Less shy. Jean Reverzy.
winner of the Renaudot.
fulfilled the obligations
fame brings with it...
That clinic was ever so good.
Mrs de Beauvoir paid for it.
I saw the price.
I didn't even sleep in a room
that dear on my wedding night.
Go on. lean on me.
Lean on your mother.
My God. what a mess!
I wanted to clean this morning.
but I could only get
the 11am train.
You should get undressed
and lie down. Violette.
Bin isn't even emptied.
You should go to bed.
"Miss. this is to confirm
your monthly payment
"of 25.000 francs.
Accounts Department."
I can't stand it here.
I can't live here anymore.
There's no point
taking it out on things.
Give it to Michel.
I won't write anymore.
You'll have changed
your mind tomorrow. To bed!
No. No! I won't write anymore.
Mr Gurin visited several times
during your rest cure.
With bouquets this big.
Your friend Genet too.
Seems you'd fallen out.
Mrs de Beauvoir came
once a week.
Sometimes with Mr Sartre.
He's so ugly!
How can a beautiful woman live
with such an ugly man?
Attention lavished
on my darling.
The flowers have wilted.
but you have gifts.
I put them in your suitcase.
Do you want to see them?
Don't you cry
when I came all this way
to be with you
when you got out.
Just shut up!
Once and for all.
will you just shut up!
Why are you mean?
What have I done to you?
You made me!
That's the problem.
Yet you didn't want me.
Nor did my father or anyone else!
I'm a bastard.
That's the problem!
And no one wants me.
No one wants me.
Ah. Violette!
What a nice surprise.
How are you feeling?
My mother is annoying me.
- Are you going away?
- No. I'm moving.
I've bought a place
near Montparnasse Cemetery.
- My Mandarins are selling well
- I know.
- Bravo for the Goncourt.
- Thank you.
Mrs de Beauvoir?
What do we do with the desk?
Shall we meet somewhere?
I'm coming.
But I can help you.
Let me help you.
I can be useful for once.
The curtains.
You forgot to take them down.
I'll have others made.
Take them if you like.
It wasn't for that.
There are things in the kitchen.
Just help yourself.
I'm not asking for alms.
Come now. Violette.
Don't get upset.
We're over all that.
We're over all that?
Where are we at now then?
Do you know where we're at?
You're right.
We'll meet later.
I'll go.
By the way. the allowance...
Don't worry about that.
They will pay. I promise.
Gaston Gallimard paying
an allowance to Violette Leduc.
You take me for an idiot.
I don't see what you mean.
I know it's you.
I've become bitter. unhappy
because of you.
I'm attached to you.
You say I have talent.
that I'll succeed.
I believe and obey you.
and end up half mad in a clinic.
with no future.
And you grow successful.
Get out of my life!
You gave me that place.
Give me another.
I can't!
Take up your pen.
You can change things with it.
Shouting will get you nowhere.
Writing will.
I've nothing left to say.
Start again from the beginning.
from your birth.
- What'll that change?
- Everything.
You've changed.
You see yourself differently.
The Bastard
Do you have a light?
Do I scare you?
No. I'm in a hurry.
I'm Ren.
Why are you here?
For the fresh air.
Paris is stifling.
- And you?
- Me?
What's your name?
This is where we go
our separate ways.
Enjoy chasing old ladies?
I want to see you again.
How did you get here?
What a question. By metro.
It's nice here.
It smells good.
Roast beef.
Who's on the photos?
An actress?
Simone de Beauvoir.
Haven't you heard of her?
What do you take me for?
I've read articles about her.
She's my friend.
Is she big-headed?
Dinner's ready!
May I?
Yes. but keep it simple.
"It's baroque.
"A man's sex
in a woman's hand.
"But it's the root of the world."
Who's there?
It's me. Violette.
I called from the bistro next door.
I thought you'd be pleased
to know I've finished.
I won't bother you. Here.
There are 1.000 pages.
I did as you said though.
I kept the essential.
Those publishing gents
will able to cut it up.
Well. we'll see.
I don't care anyway.
I'll read it at once.
Excuse me.
I don't feel too well.
I shan't bother you any longer.
Come in for a drink.
It will do us good.
You've got a lovely place.
It's spacious.
Thank you.
I buried my mother yesterday.
It was strictly private.
I didn't want anyone.
Do you see?
I'm crying for once.
You should've told me.
I'd have come to support you.
It all happened so fast.
Poor woman.
I'm full of remorse.
To think I frightened her.
One day...
I too will be there.
I may know it.
but the idea disgusts me.
May it never happen to me.
Losing my mother...
I'd never get over it.
How is your relationship
with your builder?
He's married. so it's complicated.
He wants me to sleep with
his brother. What can I do?
Are you attracted to him?
But time is going by...
And I'm alone.
Always alone.
Nothing ever changes.
I'm a desert that soliloquizes.
I shall read it now.
It'll do me good.
May I stay?
It's decided. For The Bastard.
I'll write the preface.
It's been on my mind for a while.
I intend to maximise our chances.
"My case is not unique.
"I'm afraid of dying
and I'm sorry to be alive.
"I haven't worked.
I haven't studied.
"I've wept. I've shouted.
"Tears and cries
have taken up my time.
"I shall leave as I arrived: intact.
"With my defects
that have tormented me.
"I wish I'd been born a statue.
"I am a slug under my manure.
"Virtues. qualities.
"courage. meditation. culture.
"Arms folded.
I shattered against these words."
the marriage reform is underway.
Women can have bank accounts.
manage their own assets.
and work without
their husband's permission.
- Simone de Beauvoir. hello.
- Hello.
You wrote the preface
to The Bastard.
which relates a woman's struggle
for her freedom.
French society is on the verge
of major changes.
altering the relationship
of women to literature.
Tell us about your relationship
with the author.
How was writing fundamental
in her emancipation process?
All writers aspire to sincerity.
Each has their own.
which is unique.
I know of none more honest
than Violette Leduc's.
The Bastard shows
with remarkable clarity
how freedom allows one
to take control.
She questions tirelessly.
She reproduces
what she discovers.
On my advice.
Violette Leduc decided
to write about her life.
I'd published my memoirs.
I encouraged her to do likewise.
She laughed.
as if she didn't deserve my trust.
I proved her wrong and insisted.
She was stricken by loneliness.
disappointment. poverty.
I didn't believe in her solitude
or her inner poverty.
One day.
she discovered Provence.
The landscape by Mount Ventoux
suited this northern girl.
a sensual. curious. emotional being.
There she found the peace
to truly understand herself.
to find the right word.
to create a work
that has an audience at last.
She combined reality and dreams.
To her immense surprise.
her dreams became an opportunity
to reveal the world to readers.
and not retreat from it.
I know of no better salvation
through literature.
The Bastard
was an instant best-seller.
Her subsequent books
were as popular.
Simone de Beauvoir
stopped the allowance
secretly paid to V. Leduc
through Gallimard.
Famous at last.
Violette died in Faucon
on May 28 1972. aged 65.
Her mother died 8 months later.