L'Astragal | Chicago Reader

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97 minutes · 2015

Drama
The title of Brigitte Sy's electric sophomore feature (2015) translates as "the anklebone," which is what the female protagonist, an Algerian-born delinquent, breaks while escaping from a French prison in the late 1950s. Shot in gleaming black and white, the movie follows this young woman (Leila Bekhti) as she meets another criminal (Reda Kateb), falls in love with him, and begins to feel tethered to him, for good or ill. The story originated in 1965 as a semi-autobiographical novel by Albertine Sarrazin, which was adapted to the screen three years later; this new version feels fresh despite the story's previous incarnations and familiar French themes (prostitution, sexual fluidity, the heroine as an inchoate writer). In French with subtitles.

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