By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 15, 2014 at 10:34AM
With Sundance kicking off in 24 hours, and the Berlin Film Festival just a few weeks away, we're starting to get that arthouse itch, and here to offer a bit of relief is a new international trailer for Catherine Breillat's latest, "Abuse Of Weakness." And it's based on a rather remarkable true story of an incident that happened to Breillat herself.
In 2004, Breillat had a stroke that left one side of body paralyzed. Three years later, she met French conman Christophe Rocancourt and offered him a lead role in one of her movies, as well as money to write a script. Over the next year and a half, Breillat continued to give Rocancourt money, totaling a pretty staggering 678,000 euros (guess being an arty filmmaker does pay). Eventually, Rocancourt was sentenced to jail for what French legal system calls an "abuse of weakness," with Breillat turning her experience first into a book, and now a movie.
Isabelle Huppert takes the lead role, playing an independent film director, with rapper Kool Shen as the conman, in a movie inspired by the events that Breillat went through. It's fascinating stuff with our TIFF review of "Abuse Of Weakness" calling it: "utterly unique and relentlessly watchable....If making 'Abuse of Weakness' was a necessary step in Catherine Breillat’s recovery, then it surely ranks as one of the most important—if not the most important—projects of her career. That she was able to take the darkest period of her life and turn it into art shows that the director is even braver than we thought she was."
No word yet on a U.S. distributor, but "Abuse Of Weakness" opens in France on February 12th. Trailer (sorry, no subs) and poster below.