Simone Barbès ou la vertu

Simone Barbès oder die Tugend

Director: Marie-Claude Treilhou
Country: France

1980 | 77 min. | French
Subtitles: German

Cast_ Ingrid Bourgoin, Martine Simonet, Michel Delahaye Screenplay_ Marie-Claude Treilhou, Michel Delahaye Camera_ Jean-Yves Escoffier Producer_ Cécile Clairval, Paul Vecchiali Rights_ La Traverse

Marie-Claude Treilhou's debut tells of the transition from the sobering 1970s to the dominant night cinema of the 1980s. A key film of its time, which can now be seen in a restored version.

Simone and Martine work in a porn cinema in Montparnasse. In the foyer are regulars, dodgy types and a director complaining about the lousy screening of his film. Sometimes friendly, sometimes tough, Simone and Martine keep the patrons in check. As the evening winds down, Simone leaves the cinema and goes to a lesbian club.

Director Paul Vecchiali (L'étrangleur) founded the production company Diagonale in 1976 with the aim of creating an alternative post-Nouvelle Vague cinema. Together with a group of like-minded filmmakers he produced a relatively small body of work, but one that shines all the more brightly today. Treilhouse's debut belongs to the most beautiful films of this group and had a great influence on subsequent filmmakers such as Alain Guiraudie, Serge Bozon and Yann Gonzalez.


Marie-Claude Treilhou, born in Toulouse in 1948, is a member of the 50/50 collective, which works for equality between women and men and promotes sexual and gender diversity in cinema and audiovisual media. Her documentary film Lourdes, l'hiver was awarded the Jean Vigo Prize in 1981.