The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society.
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Elizabeth Lee Miller,
Prof. Henri Laborit uses the stories of the lives of three people to discuss behaviorist theories of survival, combat, rewards and punishment, and anxiety. René is a technical manager at a textile factory and must face the anxiety caused by corporate downsizing. Janine is a self-educated actress/stylist who learns that the wife of her lover is dying and must decide to let them reunite. Jean is a controversial career-climbing writer/politician at a crossroads in life.Written by
Dragomir R. Radev <email@example.com>
We now begin to understand by what mechanism, why and how, throughout history and in the present, the hierarchies of dominance have been established. To go to the moon, we must know the laws of gravity. Knowing the laws of gravity doesn't make us free of gravity. It merely allows us to utilize it. Until we have shown the inhabitants of this planet the way their brain functions, the way they use it, until they know it has always been used to dominate others, there is little chance that anything ...
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What an odd way to start a film. We seem to be hearing a lecture about the brain, and human development, interspersed with introductions of several characters who don't seem to have much in common. But then Resnais starts working his magic, intertwining the stories of three people with the behavioral theories of Henri Laborit. Human behavior is compared to the behavior of lab rats, and even turtles and wild boars, and each new idea is illustrated in the lives of the main characters. And as an interesting third layer, each character has an "avatar" from classic French cinema; clips from their films are interspersed to comment on the action.
Too bizarre, you think? I thought so at first, but after awhile I was hooked. Fine performances, beautiful cinematography, and a captivating, multi-layered script makes this film an unforgettable experience.
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