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CLEAN SLATE

Coup De Torchon

Bertrand Tavernier | 1981 | 90 MINS
France | Subtitles
An inept police chief is humiliated by everyone around him. When things become too much, he decides to take matters into his own hands with deadly results.

In Detail

Adapted from the novel “Pop.1280" by Jim Thompson set in North Carolina, this is a riveting noirish film set in Senegal in 1938. At that time, it was a French colony that exhibited similar social and racial patterns as in the American South. Tavernier's black comedy is about a bumbling West African police chief who decides to take revenge on his oppressors.

Stationed in a remote town in Senegal, ineffectual police chief Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is routinely harassed by thugs and nagged by his adulterous wife Huguette (Stéphane Audran). Pushed to the edge, Lucien finally flips, embarking on a killing spree aimed at ridding himself of his tormentors and anyone else who has ever slighted him. Featuring pitch-perfect performances by Philippe Noiret and Isabelle Huppert, this striking noir straddles the line between violence and lyricism with dark humour and visual elegance.

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