Noce Blanche

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Noce Blanche
Directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
Produced by Margaret Ménégoz
Written by Jean-Claude Brisseau
Starring Vanessa Paradis
Bruno Cremer
Ludmila Mikaël
Music by Jean Musy
Cinematography Romain Winding
Edited by Françoise Combès
Release date
8 November 1989
Running time
92 minutes
Country France
Language French

Noce Blanche (English: White Wedding) is a French drama film released in 1989, directed and written by Jean-Claude Brisseau, starring Bruno Cremer and Vanessa Paradis.


The plot centres around moody 17-year-old Mathilde (Paradis) who lived separated from her parents. Her philosophy teacher François (Cremer), happens to stumble across her path and is eager to help her learn more. He starts to come over to her house every day to go over her homework and teach her the art of studying. Eventually, Mathilde starts placing little hints that she finds the 47-year-old François attractive. He tries to resist her, but he finds himself falling for her as well. They soon blossom into a passionate love, but they must keep their affair a secret from his wife (Mikaël) and the school. Later François's wife finds out about the affair because her husband comes home late and Mathilde calls his house until he answers. Mathilde becomes obsessed and jealous of his wife, sending her messages and breaking the glass windows in her store. His wife tries desperately to find a solution to it. Soon after, she gives François an ultimatum to choose between her and Mathilde. He understands the consequences of his decision and ends the affair. Mathilde starts a relationship with a classmate in an attempt to make François jealous. One day, after Mathilde's friends have looted François's wife's shop, angry François drags Mathilde out of his class, seeking an explanation from her. Soon he cools down and the two share a passionate kiss. But a group of schoolboys happens to see this through a window. After that, François is fired and Mathilde is expelled from school. His wife decides to divorce him and he moves to another city and starts teaching there. A year later, he gets a phone call from the police informing him that Mathilde is dead. He comes to see the body and is shocked by the death of his true love. It turns out that Mathilde had bought an apartment two months before next to his school where she had a perfect view of his classroom. She had lived as a recluse, sitting all day looking out of the window. She died of yearning. At the end, François goes to sit on the beach and watches the ocean, remembering Mathilde's last words, written on her apartment wall: "There's the ocean, François". The meaning of this phrase refers back to her mother's suicide note, in which she says that she felt like she "was merging with the ocean." Those were the mother's last words.


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