La vérité

Not content to be part of the Nouvelle Dotage, Clouzot directed from the hip with this inquiring look at youth culture of early sixties Paris. Anything-but-bashful Brigitte Bardot, the twenty-six-year-old pop icon, plays Dominique, a sexually liberated Left Banker who seeks aimless amusements to delay the gloom of contemporary life. Through her sister Annie (Marie-José Nat), a studious musician, she meets a self-possessed composer Gilbert (Sami Frey, Bardot's beau), and one thing leads to a lover. Ingeniously, La vérité begins in a courtroom where an alternately defiant and remorseful Dominique is on trial for the murder of Gilbert. Clouzot also alternates between the merits of the sensational case argued eloquently by Clouzot regulars, Charles Vanel and Paul Meurisse, and sharply nuanced flashbacks that flesh out Dominique and her bohemian rhapsody. Bardot throws more than just her body into the role, reputing her rep as a vapid vixen, perhaps because as Dominique, a protofeminist driven to despair, she was finally talking about her generation.

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