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Out of boredom mostly, a group of students go to campus café Eden
before, during or after lectures for a bit of adventure, as they have
started an elaborate series of roleplays just to escape everyday life,
roleplays that involve fake Russian roulette, fake poisoning, rape, and
probably a hundred other things that might spell danger. As mentioned, all
fun and games only, nobody really gets hurt - which starts to bother
Violette (Catherine Jourdan), who craves for some real excitement as
opposed to the reenactment thereof. Enter Duchemin (Pierre Zimmer), a
stranger to the group who attracts their attention with a weird magic
trick, then promises them real adventure - and especially Violette eats
out of his hand right away ... no literally, she lets him drug her with a
powder that creates fear. Once the effects of the drug have worn off, she
couldn't be happier, so when the stranger asks her out on a secret date at
the old factory she couldn't be happier - but the date doesn't go as
planned, as men who prefer to stay in the shadows seem to chase her all
over the compound, she runs into many of her Eden-friends in weird
situations, and at the end of the day, she finds Duchemin dead, and only a
postcard in his pocket might be a clue to ... whatever it is.
home, Violette notices that a priceless picture that had been in her
possession rather accidently had been stolen. Incidently, the motive on
the postcard she had taken from Duchemin resembles the picture quite
perfectly, and the postcard shows a house in Tunisia - so Violette travels
to Tunisia, where she finds Duchemin, very much alive, and he seems to
work as a painter and sculptor, and is more than willing to become his
nude model, forgetting all about the painting, which another of Duchemin's
models finds and steals though, and here's where all of Violette's student
friends reappear on the scene and have her kidnapped and tortured, just
like the other model who actually has stolen the picture who's ultimately
killed even. Violette on the other hand can escape poisoning one of the
students, but she almost dies when crossing the desert, being saved only
by a woman who's the splitting image of herself. Eventually, Violette
manages to track down Duchemin, only to see him killed again, this time
for real. And when Violette finally finds the picture at the center of the
whole story, she couldn't care less ...
But all of this is a long time
in the future, in the now, Violette still visit the Eden regularly,
slightly bored, playing their rolegames that promise more than they keep
by definition, and wait for a stranger called Duchemin to finally arrive.
and After is more of an experience than an actual narrative film: Its
very loose plot seems to be cobbled together from references to pulp
fiction and genre cinema, with sadomasochistic flashes thrown in for good
measure, plus quite a bit of nudity and sex scenes - but that's not to say
Eden and After is a piece of exploitation cinema as the film
beautifully relies on an otherworldly cinematic language, associative
editing, avant garde philosophy and the narrative logic of a nightmare.
True, one might probably fight to understand as much as half of the film,
but it really sucks in its audience (open mind provided) and, yeah,
provides them with an interesting experience to say the least.