Dunkirk, a rebuilt postwar town, soulless and yet mysterious, here on the North, Sea coast, the perfect place for lovers' walks. Christophe and Frédérique become entwined in a love affair. He's twenty-eight, she's been out in the world and seen it all. He comes on like a grownup male. She's surprised at first, but eventually decides that their romance is for real. Then reality closes in and uglier truths emerge. Another side of Christophe shows through : selfish, tormented, somewhat rudderless - in a word, young. It makes her suffer. In truth, the dream is over but their love affair drags on until the fateful evening when...
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"When I set ou to find an unknown actress, my producer, Georges Benayoun, told me I was lucky. As I wanted an unknown, she had to be extremely beautiful. I was looking for the kind of actress who no longer exists - an Ava Gardner, a Simone Signoret or a Romy Schneider, one who embodies us with paranoid beauty and can glide through the worst indignities unharmed. That is the idea of a star : you can risk exposing her to the worst ordeals because she transcends them. Nothing sullies her. When Isabelle Renauld came to see me, I instantly sensed that she had it. She was what I'd call a natural star. But she was barely more than a girl, obviously too young for the part. I had her do screen tests for my own selfish reasons - just for me, for the memory, for another day, another film, who knows ? The camera is cruel. Often its heartless scalpel bursts the bubble and distorts the beauty. This time the miracle occured. I was fascinated, touched. Isabelle's face gave off a melancholic maturity, an amazing strength mingled with a suicidal instinct : pride in her destiny. From then on, Georges Beanyoun's comment echoed differently in my head. Now it rang with a kind of triumphant joy. The unknown was no longer an empty space, but the revelation of a discovery. Lucky's the word. Incredibly lucky."