The Baker's Wife

Film - Feature | May 11 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The Baker’s Wife is a warm and ribald comedy based on the idea that food is the life of a community. Under trees that cast sun-flecked shadows, village debates are diverted when the wife of the new baker runs off with a shepherd. Not that it surprises anyone (the postman rings twice in Provence, too), but the baker says he cannot be two things—cuckold and breadmaker—at the same time. It behooves the villagers to band together to find the wayward wife, for she is their daily bread. Even the priest capitalizes on the shepherd metaphor, but the remoteness of the Church is counterposed to the townspeople’s growing compassion for this uninitiated newcomer who is so profoundly moved by his wife’s metamorphosis. With the magnificent actor Raimu, this is a classic of cuckoldry, as poignant and powerful in its way as Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel.

 afox@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0365