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Date(s) - 13/08/2014
6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

Alliance française du Bengale


Les Enfants du Paradis

Deuxième époque : l’Homme Blanc (1945)

a film by Marcel Carne




Children of Paradise is divided into two epochs, Boulevard du Crime (“Boulevard of Crime”) and L’Homme Blanc (“The Man in White”). The first begins around 1827, the second about seven years later. The action takes place mainly in the neighborhood of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, nicknamed “Boulevard of Crime” because of all the melodramas and bloody scenarios offered to the largely plebeian public each evening. There are two principal theaters: the Théâtre des Funambules (“Theater of Tightrope Walkers”) specializes in pantomime, since the authorities do not allow it to use spoken dialogue, which is reserved for the “official” venue, the Grand Theater.


Several years later, Frédérick has become famous as the star of the Grand Theater. A man about town and a spendthrift, he is covered with debts – which doesn’t prevent him from devastating the mediocre play in which he currently has the main role by exposing it to ridicule in rehearsal and then playing it for laughs, rather than straight melodrama, on opening night. Despite achieving a smashing success, the play’s three fussy authors are still outraged and challenge him to a duel. He accepts and when he returns to his dressing room, Frédérick is confronted by Lacenaire, who apparently intends to rob and kill him. However, the criminal is an amateur playwright and strikes up a friendship with the actor instead. He and Avril serve as Frédérick’s seconds the next morning, when the actor arrives at the duel dead drunk.