Le monde à l'envers

1998, 100 min, 35mm

by Rolando Colla with Laurence Côte, Denis Lavant, Sara Capretti, Roschdy Zem Original version in French
Synopsis english "Le monde à l'envers" begins in a Breton village in 1745, where the eight year-old Anne attends the public execution of a cockerel, who is accused of having laid an egg. Sixteen years later, the shepherd Yann Kérébel asks for her hand in marriage. Instinctively, Anne spurns him and runs away. Her father hurries after her, stick in hand, but it is Yann who finds her amid reeds on the banks of a swamp and wins her heart. When, however, Yann fails to appear on the day of the wedding because he has fallen into a well whilst drunk, Anne leaves the village feeling insecure and humiliated. She does so wearing her bridegroom's clothes; wearing men's clothes. With a piece of fabric torn from her wedding dress, she bandages her breasts. Later, having reached the coast, she is hired as a ship's boy by Jean-Pierre and gradually takes on the identity of a man. She befriends Nasser, a young Arab, and develops an ambiguous relationship to him. Doc, the ship's doctor discovers her true gender and informs the captain, who has handed over the command of the ship to Jean-Pierre in order to dedicate himself to the dictation of a fictitious travel journal. The captain has Anne brought to him. He locks her up and by twisted means offers her to become the woman of his dreams. But Anne starts a fire, threatens to destroy the captain's manuscript, and flees from the ship with Nasser. Anne and Nasser end up in a brothel in Marseilles, where they are tracked down by Jean-Pierre and where Anne kills a sailor in a knife fight. She flees with the prostitute Magali while Nasser is left behind, dead. The search for Anne begins. She, however, dons another set of men's clothes and enters into a feigned marriage with Magali. Anne becomes increasingly ambivalent and confused. When she finally confides in Magali, she is discovered asleep the next morning, naked, and is denounced by the neighbours. Anne Bruneau is condemned to death on counts of subversion, murder and homosexuality. Yann Kérébel has discovered that Anne has gone to sea. He crosses France on foot from Brittany to Marseilles to find his bride. Outside the prison, he knocks down Anne's confessor and penetrates into Anne's cell dressed as a monk. Anne has slit her wrists, but she is still alive when Yann finds her, takes her into his arms, and with her leaves the city.

Synopsis deutsch Als Kind beobachtet Anna die öffentliche Hinrichtung eines Hahns, der ein Ei gelegt haben soll. Sechzehn Jahre später erlebt sie auf demselben Dorfplatz, irgendwo in der Bretagne im 18. Jahrhundert, ihre persönliche Demütigung: ihr Bräutigam Yann erscheint nicht zur Hochzeit und ist nirgends aufzufinden. Verzweifelt verlässt Anne in Yanns Kleidern das Dorf. Als Schiffsjunge verkleidet erkundet sie die Männerwelt und eine ihr fremde Sexualität, unter ständiger Bedrohung, entdeckt und mit dem Tode bestraft zu werden. Inzwischen ist Yann wieder aufgetaucht und erfährt von ihrer Einschiffung. Zu Fuss macht er sich auf den Weg nach Marseille, um seine Liebe wiederzufinden und zu retten.

Synopsis français Enfant, Anne assiste à l'exécution publique d'un coq qu'on dit avoir pondu un oeuf. Seize ans plus tard, sur la même place, quelque part dans la Bretagne du 18ème siècle, elle subit une profonde humiliation: son fiancé, Yann, n'apparaît pas le jour du mariage et reste introuvable. Désemparée, Anne, quitte le village, revétue des habits de Yann. Se faisant passer pour un mousse, elle fait ses premières expériences du monde masculin et d'une sexualité qui lui est étrangère, en redoutant constamment d'être découverte et condamnée à mort. Entre temps, Yann a réapparu et il entend dire qu'elle a pris la mer. Il se met en route à pied pour Marseille afin de retrouver celle qu'il aime et de la sauver.

Sinossi in italiano Da bambina, Anna assiste all'uccisione pubblica di un gallo di cui si dice che ha deposto un uovo. Sedici anni più tardi, nello stesso luogo, da qualche parte della Bretagna del XVIII secolo, Anna subisce una profonda umiliazione: il suo fidanzato, Yann, non si presenta nel giorno delle nozze e non si fa trovare. Sconvolta, Anna lascia il villaggio con addosso gli abiti di Yann. Fingendosi un mozzo fa le sue prime esperienze nel mondo maschile e in quello di una sessualità  che non conosce, temendo continuamente di essere scoperta e condannata a morte. Nel frattempo Yann è tornato e viene a sapere che Anna ha solcato il mare. Si mette in cammino verso Marsiglia per ritrovare e salvare la donna che ama.

Short synopsis english The film tells the story of a young woman in the 18th century, who sets off wearing mens' clothes to discover the world and herself.

Synopsis court français Le film raconte l'histoire d'une jeune fille du 18ème siècle, qui se met en route habillée en homme pour découvrir le monde et soi-mème.