My Little Princess dir. Eva Ionesco My Little Princess dir. Eva Ionesco
NH Tit-Bits
11 August 2011
Isabelle Huppert - an icon of toxic maternity

Our favourite French actress, Isabelle Huppert, has just starred in the well-known My Little Princess shown at the Cannes Film Festival, the director's debut of another French actress, Eva Ionesco (who started her career at the age of 11, in Roman Polanski's The Tenant). The film, stylized and gloomy, interweaving childish innocence and eroticism, is based on her personal life. France - as shown by statistics - is an exceptionally family-oriented country with an extended family policy, in which the ideal of a supermother has become disgraced. Isabelle Huppert is growing into an icon of toxic maternity.

Anamaria Vartolomei and Isabelle Huppert in Eva Ionesco's My Little Princess (2011).

The problem of maternity crisis is tackled by Joana Orzechowska in the most recent issue of Polityka. In her article "Mothers on the verge of a mental breakdown" (Polityka 33/2011) she writes:

"Paris screens are currently dominated by Eva Ionesco's autobiographical drama Little Princess. The adolescent heroine's mother, an eccentric photographer, by selling her daughter's acts and forcing her to star in erotic films, is responsible for the moral rape of the growing-up girl. A toxic mother also appears in the recent Copacabana by Marc Fitoussi, and earlier, in Martial Fougeron's Mon fils à moi, based on factual events. The confused, depressed and dominating mother is likewise a heroine of contemporary French literature, from Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio's Ritournelle de la faim to autobiographical works by Michel Houellebecq, whose complicated relationship with his mother led not only to misogyny, but also to depression".

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