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Born in 1985, the Franco-Belgian documentary television program “Strip-tease” has shown for more than thirty years the tragicomic tics of our daily lives. Each episode has its environment: “Marchands de Tapie”, in a business school launched by the famous businessman; “600 grams of hash”, on the failures of the youngest and most ambitious film producer; “Holiday homework”, on the training of leaders of a seaside club…

These morality films missed nothing of our failings, our failed ambitions, our obsessions, our bad tastes and our pretensions until in 2012, many viewers waved the red flag of voyeurism following the broadcast of the report “Searching for a shepherdess desperately” in which a single farmer was fooled by a Romanian suitor and ended his day in inconsolable grief.

A direct and atmospheric dive into the police station and the difficult neighborhoods of Brussels

Deprived of the small screen, the founder of the show, Jean Libon, turned to documentary cinema in 2018. In Neither judge nor submissive, co-directed with Yves Hinant, it portrayed Anne Gruwez, a caustic lawyer who does not mince words in her investigation office in Brussels. We find her this time alongside commissioner Lemoine in a documentary film noir (not so common in the cinema) in the name of restovite, Chicken fries : Kalima Sissou, occasional prostitute, was murdered in her home. The circumstances seem to indicate the guilt of Alain, a butcher by training and ex-boyfriend… However, the boy does not remember anything. Everything rests on a fry: a piece of evidence to be analyzed if not to be spit out.

vintage survey

Filmed in black and white, this Belgian thriller takes up the specifications of “Strip-tease”. No commentary, no interview, no specially composed music, but a direct and atmospheric dive into the police station and the difficult neighborhoods of Brussels. One of the first shots recounts all of the social misery: police, medical examiner and judge rush to the scene of the crime to lean over the corpse. The matter is serious, but there is no place to work properly. It will skate severe in the shallows.

Read also: Jean Libon: “”Strip-Tease” will be a formidable mine for an ethnologist of the year 3000″

Shot in the early 2000s for television, left aside for twenty years, then edited during confinement, this vintage investigation, contrary to artificial twists, focuses on the relationship between the commissioner and the defendant. On one side, a disheveled policeman, with a questioning eye and a furrowed eyebrow that recalls the stubbornness of the photographer Francis Apesteguy, seen in reporters, by Raymond Depardon (1981), on the other, a falsely innocent or falsely guilty, ravaged by drugs. The beauty of the film is here: their relationship gradually exceeds the pre-square of the interrogation thanks to a heartbreaking complicity that abandons the irony of “Striptease” to keep the squeaky.

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