Touche pas a la femme blanche
(Don’t touch the white woman
) is an incredible satirist western by Marco Ferreri
filmed in 1974 in…the center of Paris. In fact, the entire movie is taking scene in the sector of Les Halles which were currently transformed from the central food market to a huge mall that we still know nowadays. Since this period Les Halles are known as “Le trou” (The hole) due to this impressive crater which needed to be dug.
Marco Ferreri therefore used this enormous construction site as the settings of his parody in order to eventually reproduce the battle of Little Big Horn
(1876) as a battle against modernity. Whoever lived in Paris for more or less time would be probably amazed by those following very contrasted images of a recognizable Paris hosting troops of Indians and XIXth century US Army.
One could possibly regrets that the final battle seems to happen in a quarry (see last picture) rather than in “the hole” but the transition Ferreri succeeds to achieve thanks to a play of zoom and montages depicts a very interesting imaginary setting.
It is also interesting to know that before being Les Halles, this site used to be a cemetery (Cimetiere des Innocents) composed of numerous common graves and hosting more than two millions dead bodies…This movie seems therefore to be a kind of fictitious memory of the site which reappears when the earth is being excavated.