The critical controversies sparked by La Vie d’Adèle's graphic realism of a passionate, if failed, love story between two women, has also revived interest in the impressive lineage of female cinematic protagonists since the onset of the turbulent 1960’s. From Jean-Luc Godard’s allegorical figures of post-war consumer society to Abdellatif Kechiche’s multi-cultural heroines, remarkable cinematic figures condense the contradictions of a society in the throes of modernization. Recent media scrutiny of the sexual transgressions of prominent male public figures also compels us to consider whether sexual mores have kept apace. Whether assessed according to government policies that favor their social independence, a mixed record of professional achievement, or as represented in complex cinematic models, women’s status in France today offers a fascinating window into the nation’s history over the last five decades. This course includes one female director and will complement the seven films of our basic corpus with historical documentation. Students will view films outside class as part of their requirements. Conducted entirely in French: recommended at minimum, two 200-level courses.