The Little Match Girl (1928)

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“La petite marchande d’allumettes” is a 1928 French silent film directed by Jean Renoir, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Little Match Girl.” Here is a summary of the film:

“La petite marchande d’allumettes” follows the story of a young girl named Marie (played by Catherine Hessling) who is forced to sell matches on the streets of Paris on New Year’s Eve. It is a bitterly cold night, and Marie, dressed in tattered clothing, is ignored and mistreated by the passersby.

As Marie struggles to sell her matches, she finds solace and warmth by lighting the matches, which momentarily transport her to imaginary worlds where she experiences joy and comfort. In these moments, she envisions a loving family, delicious food, and a life free from poverty and suffering.

However, as the night progresses, Marie’s matches eventually run out, leaving her alone and exposed to the harsh winter conditions. In a desperate attempt to keep warm, she continues to light the remaining matches, even though they are her only source of comfort.

In the poignant conclusion of the film, Marie’s lifeless body is discovered in the morning, a tragic victim of poverty and neglect. Her spirit ascends to the heavens, where she is reunited with her loving mother.

“La petite marchande d’allumettes” captures the heartbreaking tale of the original story, highlighting the plight of the poor and the power of imagination in the face of adversity. The film explores themes of poverty, compassion, and the struggle for survival in a society that overlooks and mistreats the less fortunate.

Jean RenoirJean T├ędesco

Hans Christian Andersen, Jean Renoir

Catherine Hessling, Eric Barclay, Jean Storm

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