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Muriel Leferle

Nobody who saw Raymond Depardon's entertaining 1994 docu "Caught in the Acts" (Delits flagrants), which followed the judicial odysseys of perps who had been nabbed red-handed, could possibly forget enterprising, 22-year-old car thief and drug addict Muriel Leferle. To say that Leferle talks a good game is like pointing out that Michael Jordan is handy with a basketball. Since helmer had room for only 20 minutes worth of Leferle in original pic, he has since put together this docu devoted entirely to the well-spoken, brilliantly disingenuous femme.

Nobody who saw Raymond Depardon’s entertaining 1994 docu “Caught in the Acts” (Delits flagrants), which followed the judicial odysseys of perps who had been nabbed red-handed, could possibly forget enterprising, 22-year-old car thief and drug addict Muriel Leferle. To say that Leferle talks a good game is like pointing out that Michael Jordan is handy with a basketball. Since helmer had room for only 20 minutes worth of Leferle in original pic, he has since put together this docu devoted entirely to the well-spoken, brilliantly disingenuous femme.

Riveting, real-life soap opera comprises only four continuous shots: a guard outside the arraignment hall at Paris’ Palais de Justice, Leferle’s candid arrival interview, a fabrication-heavy encounter with an assistant DA and a discussion with her court-appointed lawyer. Each is rigorously lensed from a static vantage point with Leferle seated frame left, her interviewers frame right. HIV-positive but healthy and determined to wrangle her way out of going to jail, Leferle — endearing and exasperating by turns — warrants the extra screen time. Docu’s only drawback is that the footage was shot in 1994 and there is no indication of what’s become of her since.

Muriel Leferle

(DOCU -- FRENCH)

  • Production: A Gemaci release (in France) of a La Sept/Double D Copyright Films co-production. Produced by Pascale Dauman. Co-executive producers, Baudoin Capet , Anne Serrier. Directed by Raymond Depardon. Camera (color), Nathalie Credou; editors, Roger Ikhlet, Camille Cote, Georges Henri Mauchant; sound, Claudine Naugaret, Sophie Chiabout, Dominique Hennequin. Reviewed at Espace Saint-Michel, Paris, April 29, 1999. Running time: 75 MIN.
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