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dombrewer's avatar


A short French silent forever blessed (or cursed) to be forever connected to Pauline Kael - she stated in an interview that of everything she'd ever watched it was her favourite film of all time. A curse because that might raise some unlikely expectation in some minds, a blessing because it probably wouldn't be as much sought out today if she hadn't given it that lofty accolade - even so it currently still only has a meagre 820 ratings on IMDB. Luckily for us it's readily available on Youtube and it is definitely worth the watch.

Nadia Sibirskaïa is radiant as the wronged woman, the youngest to two orphan girls, following the violent murder of their parents, without guidance lured into a man's bed and then cast aside for her elder sister, leaving her pregnant, alone and desperate. She performs her sorrowful part with admirable naturalism, expertly captured with innovative camera work by director Dimitri Kirsanoff - the scene of her tearfully accepting food given by an old man on a park bench is rightly acclaimed: it's a beautiful piece of acting.

Although some of the early scenes where the sisters play children are a little dubious, the events of the conclusion are oblique and it can be slightly confusing in places without any inter-titles, even for a slight story, the performances and marvellous location cinematography make this a neglected 20s classic deserving of wider rediscovery.
8 years 2 months ago
DreCosby's avatar


All in one part.

6 years 3 months ago
bulmer's avatar


The soundtrack to this film is just fantastic. Love the improvised jazz.
5 years 11 months ago
Ivan0716's avatar


Nadia Sibirskaïa is the French Mary Pickford
9 years 2 months ago
Jumping Elephant's avatar

Jumping Elephant

I have to wonder if Catherine Deneuve watched this film in preparation for Repulsion.
9 years 4 months ago
-1flb2-'s avatar


Very good. Very raw emotions.
5 years ago
ClassicLady's avatar


Beautiful in a depressing sort of way. Those eyes...that face...those tears...When the acknowledgment of human kindness is a simple nod, it is priceless.
5 years 5 months ago
Emiam's avatar


For those of you who have seen it:

Sometimes I found the film very slow (too slow), but sometimes efficently fast.
I guess very before its own time, but for me (who has not seen so many films from the 1920's), it is a 6/10 until someone can tell me what happened in the end and why?

Here's a new link, the film in just one part:
(mod-edit: dead link removed)

About the film from Wikipedia:
Ménilmontant (pronounced: [menilmɔ̃tɑ̃]) is a 1925 film written and directed by Dimitri Kirsanoff which takes its name from the Paris neighborhood of the same name. The film is a silent, but does not contain any intertitles. It begins with a flurry of quick close-up shots depicting the axe murder of the parents of the protagonists, two girls. As young women, they are portrayed by Nadia Sibirskaïa, Kirsanoff's first wife, and Yolande Beaulieu; their mutual love interest is played by Guy Belmont. The film uses many other techniques that were relatively new at the time, including double exposure.
5 years 11 months ago
Cippenham's avatar


It is new to TSPDT from the January 2011 update but DTC has not been updated, at least not yet.
10 years 2 months ago
Storaxe's avatar


How is it on both DTC and TSPDT?
10 years 2 months ago
Storaxe's avatar


Yup i gathered the same.... :)
10 years 2 months ago
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