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.