Les Abysses. 1963. France. Directed by Nico Papatakis. Screenplay by Jean Vauthier. With Francine Bergé, Colette Bergé, Pascale de Boysson. DCP. In French; English subtitles. 90 min.
Nico Papatakis was a fixture of the Saint-Germain des Prés intelligentsia and a producer of both Jean Genet and John Cassavetes. His debut film, adapted from Genet’s scandalous play Les Bonnes, is a violent denunciation of the harassment of women in the workplace and exalts their revolt in a spectacular way. Notably supported by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and André Breton, the film screened at Cannes thanks to André Malraux, despite the opposition of those who saw it as a tacit endorsement of the struggle for Algerian independence. Courtesy Gaumont and Janus Films