Godard not only crossed the line, he personally moved the line to a further distance and crossed it again. A wife performing oral sex on her husband’s flaccid penis, naked children, and children getting a first hand account on sexuality while watching their parents make love, all were included in this film. The parents described the vagina as lips and the penis as a mouth, and love making is a sort of silent kiss. The only thing I could think to myself was; who in the right mind would allow their child to be in this film?
What really pushed the envelope, opened it and then spit on it, was some of the dialogue. The open commentary on otherwise taboo subjects, such as; constipation, anal sex, dirty undersides and so on. Many of these subjects were discussed with their children. For example; the wife asks her son Nocolas if he knows what shitting is, he answers “yes” and she then proceeds to tell him that she hasn’t shit in two weeks. Another disturbing piece of commentary that included the children, was the husbands explanation of what he did to his wife when he found out she was cheating on him. He claimed he was so mad at her “he could of raped her”, so instead he had violent anal sex with her while she screamed, he then realized that one of his children was watching the entire encounter. It seemed that Godard wanted to take his audience to the darkest place in their subconscious, and let them roam comfortably in their abnormalities.
Even the way this film was presented was dark and tormented. We watched the encounters with this family through television screens in Godard’s editing room, through his eyes. This made each subject even more eerie, even more forbidden and taboo. This begs the question; why did Godard make this film? Why did he want to show us a seemingly normal family and their darkest secrets, through his gritty eyes? It left me wondering…”was this genius, or simply a strange perversion?” If it was genius, this could have been Godard’s statement against normalcy. No family is “normal”, every family has curious children, and strange sexually charged thoughts between husband and wife. Is normalcy actually perversion, but we just don’t talk about it? Or was Godard simply going for the shock factor, and not trying to expose an underlined issue? Maybe Godard was simply waking up his audience. Maybe he wanted them to revert to their natural and animalistic Freudian subconscious and not think at all. Maybe this film was made to make us not think; instead of to make our heads spin with unanswered questions. The reason for this film I will never be sure of, but I am sure Godard achieved his goal.