Just as the mystery of Jack the Ripper continues to grip the English imagination, the case of the Papin sisters of Le Mans — two maids who, in 1933, brutally slaughtered their employer and her daughter — holds a peculiar sway over the French. Jean Genet used the ghastly events as the basis for his celebrated one-act play "The Maids," while the cream of France's intelligentsia, from Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to Jacques Lacan, have searched for answers to the questions raised by the Papins' bizarre crime. Jean-Pierre Denis's scorching film — one of the most harrowing true-crime dram... read the rest.
Based on the true story of two chambermaids (the Papin sisters) of 1930s France who murdered their employer and her daughter. Christine Papin (Sylvie Testud), and Léa Papin (Julie-Marie Parmentier) are sisters with an already troubled past. Madame Lancelin takes them into her home and employs the girls as maids. Christine sees in Madame Lancelin an ideal mother figure — in spite of her severity. But their wretched background — an indifferent mother and drunken abusive father — casts a shadow over the girls and over time their ill-fated situation darkens. The sisters withdraw into themselves and finish by committing the worst — killing Madame Lancelin and her daughter after six years of service, on the 2 February 1933 in Le Mans.
It wasn't just a crime. It was a crime of passion.
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