This is the first time I have seen a silent Jean Renoir film. He really needed sound to tell his stories. In fact, this is less a Renoir film and more of a mishmash of his contemporaries’ techniques. There are montages like you would expect from Eisenstein and Abel Gance. There is some surrealism like you would expect from Victor Sjöström. Finally, the film is like a D.W. Griffith film complete with his own Lillian Gish played by Renoir’s first wife Catherine Hessling. The film takes Hessling from one tragedy to another after her father passes away. Hence the title whirlpool of fate.

It’s not a very good film, but if you needed proof that Renoir was a sound director not a silent one then watch this movie and count the number of intertitles he used.

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