the-law-poster-artFresno State’s CineCulture ( film series presents two events related to the film “The Law (La Loi, le combat d’une femme pour toutes les femmes)” Sept. 22 and 23.

  • Presentation – “The Jews of France from the French Revolution to the Present,” 3:30-4:45 p.m. Sept. 22, Fresno State’s Agricultural Science Building, Room 109. Speaker Aron Rodrigue is a professor of history and the Charles Michael Professor in Jewish history and culture at Stanford University.
  • Screening – “The Law (La Loi, le combat d’une femme pour toutes les femmes),” 5:30 p.m. Sept. 23, Peter’s Education Center Auditorium, west of Save Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building. Discussant: Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn.

Directed by French director Christian Faure and released in 2014, “The Law” traces three days, in late fall 1974, of stormy debate in the French National Assembly, around a bill which would make “voluntary termination of pregnancy” legal.

Behind this bill stands a lone woman played by Emmanuelle Devos (also in “The Other Son”) – Simone Veil, the minister of health in the Jacques Chirac government during the presidency of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. During these three days of violent debate, Veil, a Jew and Holocaust survivor, is spared nothing: political negotiations, solitude, sparring arguments, insults and violence to her family. In spite of all of this, Veil never wavers.

Viewers need not be afraid of being bogged down in the vagaries of 1974 French politics: Director Christian Faure has created a breathless thriller and gave the film’s “legal and political maneuvering some of the edge of a film noir.”

A television sensation in France, this profoundly disturbing and provocative film was a finalist for best television film award at the Globes de cristal in Paris and Emmanuelle Devos as Simone Veil was nominated for outstanding actress at the Nymphes d’or in Monte-Carlo.  Additionally, “The Law” was a selection at many film festivals, including the San Francisco, New York and San Diego Jewish Film Festivals in the U.S., as well as the Jerusalem and the UK Jewish Film Festivals. The 90-minute film is in French with English subtitles.

These events are co-sponsored by the French Program at Fresno State, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, the Jewish Studies Certificate Program and the Jewish Studies Association.

All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is free on the weekends and after 4 p.m. on Fridays. INFO: Dr. Mary Husain at or visit the CineCulture website. See original press