Film - Feature | May 17 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
The Bakers 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 thingscuckold and breadmakerat 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 townspeoples growing compassion for this uninitiated newcomer who is so profoundly moved by his wifes metamorphosis. With the magnificent actor Raimu, this is a classic of cuckoldry, as poignant and powerful in its way as Josef von Sternbergs The Blue Angel.