500 Francs

Directed by Melvin Van Peebles

12 minutes / B&W
No dialog
Release: 1961
Copyright: 1961

Included on 2-disc box set Early Short Films of the French New Wave.

Set to a percussive, syncopated soundtrack, this early Melvin Van Peebles short is a small-scale tale of obsession, greed and violence. In a run-down neighborhood, a boy notices a 500-franc note in a sewer. His improvised efforts to pull it up through the grate fail, and when a poor young man comes along to try his luck, the boy’s jealousy leads to a series of ultimately ineffective attacks. Finally, he makes one last quixotic attempt to get his hands on the precious banknote.

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