Chaos (2001)

Genres - Drama, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Feminist Film, Urban Drama, Satire  |   Release Date - Jan 29, 2003 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

In this satirical comedy drama from France, white-collar workaholic Paul (Vincent Lindon) and his high-strung wife Helene (Catherine Frot) are driving to a party one evening when a young woman leaps into the path of their car, crying for help. Paul refuses to let her into the car, and soon several men catch up with the woman and begin beating her savagely. Paul insists on staying out of the matter, but Helene feels some sense of responsibility for what happened, and begins spending most of her time at the hospital where the woman remains unconscious. In time, it's determined that the woman's name is Noémie (Rachida Brakni), she's 22 years old, and works as a prostitute. By this time, Helene has become obsessed with protecting Noémie, and when a strange man (Wojtek Pszoniak) attempts to sign her out of the hospital, claiming he's her uncle, Helene sneaks Noémie out posing as a nurse and takes her to her mother-in-law's country house to recover. Eventually, Noémie is well enough to tell her harrowing story -- she was brought to France from Algeria by her father, along with her sister, and fell into life as a streetwalker shortly after learning that her family had sold her hand in marriage her to a man back in Algeria. Director Coline Serreau shot Chaos using digital video equipment -- and was impressed enough with the experience that she announced she had no interest in shooting on 35 mm film ever again.



hospital, husband-and-wife, prostitute/prostitution, recovery [health], country-home, marriage-arranged