Les Victimes De Le bibliophilisme
A memorable work that's unusual in many ways.
Though it could have taken the typical route of a tear-jerker melodrama of innocent souls beset by poverty and at the mercy of the wicked, it instead avoids the shallow stereotypes to become more of a poignant family drama of the tension between a father and daughter who are linked (and brought into conflict) by their shared languid temperament and disengagement from those around them.
But, like too many other poverty films, blame is placed completely on individual behavior, with nothing said about the institutional forces that drive to that behavior (e.g., the drudgery of wage slavery that drives workers to seek escape from it) - simply sermons from studio preachers on the nobleness of wage slavery.
Yet, unlike other intemperance tales, Father's vice is not in his beer pail, nor is there “hop” in his pipe. This is a tale of “Les Victimes De Le bibliophilisme”, i.e., “What Books Did”.
Although titles too often lapse into telling the viewer what to think, the story is mainly told by the understated performances and detailed settings.