La France Interdite (1984)

Alternate Titles
French Prohibition
Director:Jean-Pierre Imbrehoris, Jean-Pierre Garnier and Gilles Delannoy
Notes:explicit soft mondo documentary, ATC 3000, Punch Video, 80 mins.

French mondo rarity
even if, just like any “true” mondo, this flick is a “sociological” (ahem) study which covers a lot of various stuff, most of it is about the sleazy side of things (and it contains some hardcore sex here & there, too) so im going with erotica sub-genre…you may call it exploitation or camp as well, i guess

“written & directed” by Gilles Delannoy & Jean-Pierre Garnier & Jean-Pierre Imbrohoris

here is the presentation from the (expensive) Shocking Video DVDR bootleggers :

“FORBIDDEN FRANCE (83) aka La France Interdite. Rare mondo focusing on the seamier side of Gay Paree. Crazy fashions, transsexual hookers, coke snorting New Wavers, female body builders, nude beaches, leather bars, a rich playboy’s private torture dungeon and some X-rated dildo insertion to liven things up. Letterboxed French language proint with NO subtitles”

“Nothing is in itself neither good nor bad, it depends on what we think.”  It is on this quote from Shakespeare, as if to give an air of respectability, that opens this mondo franchouillard striving to explore the dark side of France in the 1980s. The authors of this “documentary” begin their exploration gently through the inevitable discovery of somewhat incredible fashion design. As this will not interest many people, we move quickly to things a little more serious, beginning with Pigalle.  Ah Pigalle and its neon-lit strip club, Pigalle and the Moulin Rouge … But who cares Moulin Rouge, too soft, it will immediately take a look at a peep show. We are then treated to a visit to the tranny hookers of the Bois de Boulogne before entering into a lesbians club where members snort lines of coke and a short passage in women practicing in a bodybuilding gym and a brief look at the seamy side of St-Tropez. But the real fun comes with the gay club where a bunch of clones of Freddy Mercury, leather cap screwed on the head and impeccable mustaches engaging in realistic looking S & M sessions while sipping beers. The earlier lesbians SM scenes seemed to designed to entertain visitors to Disneyland. The next scene beautifully photographed scene has couples engaged in some tame sadomasochism antics in an old French chateau. These couples give themselves freely often under the command of a kind of Rasputin lookalike who does not hesitate to use the dildo with varying degrees of fervor. Finally, the film crew had permission to film a black mass at which a naked woman is watered with a red liquid said to be animal blood. The result “is not presentable” we are told.  Yeah sure! If the rest of the evidence does seem to take an opportunistic, voyeuristic, anecdotal and totally meaningless approach then the black mass of this session is frankly implausible and feels like it was included only to bring a touch of macabre to a film that at times surprises but ultimately never hurts.