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Rated NR · 119 minutes · 2001


Late 17th century France. Madame de Maintenon, wife of Louis XIV, has founded Saint-Cyr, a boarding school outside of Paris for the daughters of destitute nobility. Girls of all ages are brought here to acquire the language and manners befitting their rank. For Madame de Maintenon, what begins as an amusing form of cultural charity will, over the years, become a source of nightmarish anxiety and religious fanaticism. When the blooming young women present the court with a play by Racine, Saint-Cyr is brought to the attention of the king's entourage of rapacious young men in need of 'fresh blood'. The ensuing wave of wedding proposals only serves to exacerbate the growing sensual tension of adolescence that is wreaking havok in Saint-Cyr. As a result, Madame de Maintenon turns to father Godet des Marais, an uncompromising Lazarist priest, who shrouds Saint-Cyr in a cloak of disciplinarian asceticism. But will it ultimately bring Madame de Maintenon and her girls salvation or damnation?

Director: Patricia Mazuy
Writer: Patricia Mazuy, Yves Thomas and Yves Dangerfield
Producer: Denis Freyd
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Nina Meurisse, Morgane More, Jeanne Le Bigot and Mathilde Lechasles

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