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SKIRT DAY (La journée de la jupe)
Best Actress César Awards
"[Isabelle Adjani] could easily cap her career with this role alone" -Variety
"Provocative" -Chicago Tribune
"Time and middle-aged avoirdupois have relieved Adjani of her distracting, superhuman pulchritude, leaving us a clearer view than ever of her redoubtable acting chops" -TimeOut Chicago
Sonia Bergerac (Isabelle Adjani, The Story of Adèle H., Camille Claudel), a French literature teacher in a "tough" school, has to cope with insults, violence and a complete lack of discipline on a daily basis. As if this situation was not demanding enough, Sonia's husband suddenly and inexplicably leaves her, and she finds herself careening toward a nervous breakdown, with seemingly no way to stop it. Compounding matters is her decision to defy the principal's rule of no skirts for female teachers, a policy she deeply resents, since it is inherently sexist. Sonia's world explodes into chaos one morning when she discovers a gun in one of her students' bags and acting spontaneously (and indignantly), she seizes it. The incident gets misread and draws scandalous attention, and before long parents, politicians, law officers and the media surround the school, thereby turning an unfortunate event into a full-blown hostage crisis and a media phenomenon that leads to unexpected consequences.
Skirt Day is a fascinating psychological study, a socio-critical investigation, and also Isabelle Adjani's first film in five years. Topical in its depiction of the stress and violence present in modern day classrooms, Skirt Day is a brutal exploration of sexual and racial politics in a divided society.
Directed by Jean-Paul Lillienfeld, France, 2009, 35mm, 88 mins. In French with English subtitles.