Rouge Baiser

Film

Comedy drama

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Time Out says

Belmont's endearing if daft reminiscences of a '50s Parisian adolescence. In the jazz clubs of St Germain, Bechet-soundalikes occupy the stand, and black rollneck sweaters proliferate in the audience, but despite the title (the name of a hit lipstick of the period), the film is more interested in the evanescence of ideologies. 15-year-old Nadia (Valandrey) is an ardent Stalinist, tirelessly selling the party paper and demonstrating against American imperialism, which doesn't stop her longing to be Rita Hayworth in Gilda. She is rescued from a police beating by cool, non-political Paris Match photographer Stéphane (Wilson), who soon erodes her beliefs and underwear. Her Polish-Jewish mother's old lover Moische (Terzieff) arrives in Paris from Siberia, and his revelations about the gulags compound the teenager's turnaround. The make-up department are over-enthusiastic on wounds and the pallors of pining, but the genuine memories of a rite of passage survive the shortcomings.

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