Synopsis by Mark Deming
An elderly woman who can't take care of herself becomes the center of a family squabble in this moving drama. Pauline (Dora van der Groen) is a severely retarded woman who, at the age of 66, cannot read, speak in complete sentences, or even tie her own shoes. Despite her handicap, Pauline is happy, and can run simple errands; she lives with her older sister Martha (Julienne De Bruyn), but Pauline has always been especially fond of one of her other siblings, Paulette (Ann Petersen), and Pauline would gladly spend the day puttering around Paulette's sewing supplies store if Martha didn't stop her. When Martha dies, Paulette and another sibling, Cecile (Rosemarie Bergmans), discover Martha's will stipulates that if one of the surviving sisters will take in Pauline and care for her, her money will be evenly divided three ways between Pauline, Paulette, and Cecile -- but if she's given to others or placed in a home, the entire inheritance will go to Pauline. Paulette reluctantly agrees to take in her sister, but her compassion soon proves to be in short supply as she begins hatching a plan to close down her shop and move away, leaving Pauline behind. Pauline et Paulette was the first feature film from director Lieven Debrauwer.
abandonment, inheritance, mental-retardation, sister