Posted by Censor Librorum on Jun 2, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

I got back from Montreal just ahead of the thunderstorm. My French is very, very rusty – horrible, really, for someone in college who was initially registered as a French major. I always mix up “eyes” (les yeux) and “eggs” (oeufs); and after the laughter dies down at the breakfast table I hesitate on trying to say anything else.

Whenever I go to Montreal it’s hard not to think of the wonderful coming of age (and semi-autobiographical) film by Lea Pool, “Set Me Free.” Set in 1960s Montreal, it focuses on Hanna, the teenage daughter of an unhappy working-class couple (expatriate Jewish poet and beautiful Catholic prom queen). She tentatively explores her sexuality with a classmate and develops a huge crush on her teacher.

Wandering into a movie theater one day, Hanna develops a fixation on Godard’s “Vivre sa vie” and models much of her behavior on the female lead, the doomed wife-turned-prostitute, but glamorously imperturbable, Nana.

Vivre sa vie (“My life to live”), opens with a quote from Montaigne, “lend yourself to others but give yourself to yourself”. Another translation of the quote goes –“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”

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