Cinema: A Little Sex, a Little Death

Little Sex, a Little Death Cops and fops, passion and repression in four foreign films


1938: Mary Mulligan (Julie Christie), an English governess, comes to Buenos Aires to care for two young girls. Her job is to teach them to be ladies, not women, in a landowner's household where grandmama sorts her old photos into two piles: "alive" and "dead." The family may as well be dead. They disdain their own culture and borrow Britain's; they ignore the dust clouds of rebellion kicked up by Juan Peron's followers. The mood is languorous, but the snake of sensuality curls under the loose garments of the ruling class. When Miss Mary, out of pity and passion,...

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