“Marinette”: a life as a sportswoman spent in the mill of exemplary

Marinette Pichon (Garance Marillier) in “Marinette”, by Virginie Verrier.


They are very rare, even non-existent, biopics dedicated to great female sports figures. What’s more in France, where women’s sport continues to come up against the wall of patriarchy (wage inequality, lack of professional status, under-media coverage, etc.). This is precisely what led Marinette Pichon, a pioneer of women’s football, to settle very young in the United States where no glass ceiling could hinder her talent.

It is on her edifying trajectory that the biopic which is dedicated to her returns: from her difficult childhood in a small village in the east of France, haunted by the figure of a violent father, to her exceptional sporting career which sees her become the first player selected in the United States and the record holder for the number of goals and selections for the France team.

In the field of the biopic form, nothing very new is at stake here, and this is indeed the problem of the exercise, a veritable narrative highway as soon as its codes are not re-discussed, twisted wisely. The life of the sportswoman is thus seen passed through the mill of exemplarity which always assumes that no roughness remains, that only the good bits are kept by putting aside everything that would not serve the edifying feminist narrative. . Marital and intra-family violence, resilience, sorority, homosexuality, gay marriage… This is the life of this woman transformed into a journey of societal stages. A life, an ambition, it’s always a little more than that.

French film by Virginie Verrier. With Garance Marillier, Emilie Dequenne, Fred Testot (1 h 35).

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