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A Very Curious Girl

Nelly Kaplan
La fiancée du pirate
France 1969 / 107’
A Real Young Girl Anita: Swedish Nymphet

This erotic dramedy is the debut feature of Argentinian director Nelly Kaplan, who worked in France. An exuberant, witty (and also somewhat bitter) story about an exploited woman who, when pushed to the extreme, stops being a victim and turns into a businesswoman who not only charges a high price for her services but also comes up with a spectacular plan for revenge. After her mother is tragically killed (along with her beloved black goat, known to be in league with witches), the impoverished Marie (Bernadette Lafont from The Mother and the Whore) declares war on the entire village. Having been sexually abused for years, she takes control of her body and her wallet, which induces moral indignation (She’s selling herself? What a whore!). But clever Marie soon exposes the hypocrisy of the village mayor, a local landowner, the shopkeeper and the vicar. A Very Curious Girl, which premiered at the Venice Festival, is a perfect satire on the double standards of morality and on patriarchy when coupled with capitalism. This provocative tale of emancipation is also one of the few erotic films of the era made by a woman. “Impertinence raised to the rank of art” was how the director’s friend, Pablo Picasso, described it, adding that he saw in it the “atmosphere of the best works of Luis Buñuel.”

Małgorzata Sadowska

Nelly Kaplan

Nelly Kaplan (born in 1936) is an Argentinian director, screenwriter, journalist and writer who worked France. As a 22-year-old, Kaplan abandoned her economics studies in Argentina for a film career in Paris. She started out by making a series of short documentaries before making her feature debut in 1969 with A Very Curious Girl, which was shown at the Venice Festival. The most important subjects dealt with in her films are feminine emancipation and feminine desire, which breaks down the moral order of patriarchal society (such as in the case of A Young Emmanuelle from 1976, based on a book by Emmanuelle Arsan, author of the scandalous Emmanuelle). Her documentary Abel Gance and His Napoleon (1983) was presented in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Described as the director of erotic—and thus second-tier—films, she is only now regaining her rightful place in cinematic history. 


1956 Marirama (wraz z Ablem Gance)

1967 Le Regard Picasso (doc)

1969 Narzeczona Pirata / La fiance du pirat / A Very Curious Girl

1971 Papa les petits bateaux… / Papa, the Lil’ Boats

1976 Néa

1979 Charles et Lucie

1980 Un fait d'hiver, Livingstone

1982 Ce fut un bel été

1991 Plaisir d’amour / Pleasure of Love

Cast & Crew

director Nelly Kaplan
screenplay Claude Makovski
cinematography Jean Badal
editing Noëlle Boisson, Nelly Kaplan, Gérard Pollicand
music Georges Moustaki
cast Bernadette Lafont, Georges Géret, Henri Czarniak
producer Nelly Kaplan, Claude Makovski
production Cythère Films, Paris Film
sales MK2
language French
colouration colour