Thursday, 17 December 2009


Anna Moulin is a waitress at a sleazy dancehall in Paris. When she breaks down to a customer named Dr. Perrin about wanting to leave her job, he offers her a position as a nurse at his charitable hospital. Anna accepts the post without hesitation and starts her job by bringing meals to the infirmed children. Almost immediately, Anna’s compassionate bedside manner endears herself to the patients and, impressed with her knack for the job, Perrin appoints Anna as director of the hospital, an offer she gratefully accepts. But before long, the wind is taken out of her sails as a former colleague visits the hospital, threatening to expose secrets from her past.

One often wonders if director Louis Feuillade truly thought it necessary to show some of the more tedious events in their entirety – whether it was compensating for a lack of action or just showing off a higher budget is up for debate. More time ought to have been devoted to Anna’s past, as one is left to assume the events that make Anna so ashamed of her former life. And although it is encouraging to believe that a person’s circumstances can be changed so facilely, it is hard to swallow that Perrin would employ her as a nurse based on their brief encounter at the dancehall. Of course, much of this could be forgiven by the limitations of early cinema, but one must remember that Feuillade also helmed several cinematic classics, including cult crime serial Les Vampires.

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