Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Original title: La Reine Blanche
France, 1991. Camera Noire, CiBy 2000, TF1 Films Production. Screenplay by Jean-Loup Hubert. Cinematography by Claude Lecomte. Produced by Jean-Claude Fleury. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Frederic Duru. Costume Design by Annick Francois. Film Editing by Raymonde Guyot.
Years after she won her town of Nante’s local beauty contest, a still gorgeous housewife (Catherine Deneuve, of course) has her quiet life with husband (Richard Bohringer) and kids thrown into disarray when an old flame (Bernard Giraudeau) comes back to town. He left for Guadaloupe not long after her triumph and thus made her choice between the two men she loved much simpler for her, so she is naturally confused when he returns (complete with native wife and children), but not nearly as incensed as her insecure, jealous husband. This beautifully filmed drama touches on subjects of lost love but also investigates the racism of colonial France when the returning lover’s mixed daughter gets into the same contest that Deneuve previously won, thus challenging the traditional attitudes of 1960s society. A glossy soap opera, but an enjoyable one.