Two moving portraits of girls/young women tring to deal with their desperate situations: both facing neglect and poverty, they have to look for the strength to cope deep within themselves. Watch Mouchette first as the Dardenne brothers were clearly inspired by Bresson’s work. Keep an eye out for the presence and use of water in each film.
When women used to be depressed or were not “taking care of their men” properly their husbands could send them to the psych ward for attitude adjustments. This was part of conditioning them to always wear a smile. They believed that if a woman saw herself smiling that it would become natural practice and that she would be “cured”. This often went along with shock therapies.