Don't Deliver Us from Evil (1971 France)

Don't Deliver Us from Evil (1971)
Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal
Und erlöse uns nicht von dem Bösen

... "Don't Deliver Us From Evil" suffers a little from its own controversial reputation, as it has got a lot more to offer than just graphic shocks and gratuitous nudity. The film poster proudly announces, in letters that are far bigger than the title itself, that this is the only French film to be banned in France. It's a nice promotion stunt, but it only forces potential viewers to anticipate a non-stop sleazy and exploitative smut flick, whereas Joël Séria's film is primarily a beautifully dark and almost poetic depiction of how adolescents of high social descent deal with boredom and sexual curiosity. The script may be loosely inspired by the real-life Parker-Hulme murder case (the same case Peter Jackson used for his "Heavenly Creatures") but I strongly believe Séria also used the opportunity to criticize the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church as well as the unfair French social classification system. During the long & boring nights at the boarding school, 14-year-old Anne becomes interested in salacious literature and she quickly convinces her friend Lore to join her into exploring the exact opposite of all the Catholic mumbo-jumbo that is forced upon them by the nuns and their deeply religious parents. It all starts with naughty, yet harmless games and the discovery of their own bodies & sexuality, but the situation escalates into something genuinely malice. When summer vacation begins, and the girls spend two months away from authority, they perform a ritual to become accepted as disciples of Satan and cross the line for good. Their innocent games are gradually replaced with the the dangerous seduction of mentally unstable men, vicious rites of animal cruelty, arson and eventually murder. (IMDB Coventry)

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