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Martin Provost’s (Séraphine) new film explores the life of the ground-breaking French feminist writer Violette Leduc.

In postwar Paris, penniless aspiring novelist Violette finishes her first manuscript, L’Asphyxie, based on her experiences of childhood sexual abuse and her relationship with her mother. Her unpublished work is championed by Simone de Beauvoir, who recognises her raw talent and takes Violette under her wing.

The two women are brought to life by brilliant performances: Emmanuelle Devos as the titular self-pitying protégé and Sandrine Kiberlain as the cool, demanding yet maternal de Beauvoir.

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