Coup de Torchon (1982): Tavernier’s French Oscar Nominee

One of Bertrand Tavernier’s best films, Coup de Torchon (Clean Slate) is based on Jim Thompson’s novel, except that the French director has shifted the tale’s locale from South America to West Africa.
Set in a small colonial village, the film centers on a law officer who begins to realize the political power that he possesses and acts on it by eliminating his enemies and even his wife.
Laced with dark (black) humor and wit, rarely seen in American political movies, Coup de Torchon offers poignant observations about colonialism and power, both political and personal.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Best Foreign-Language Picture
Oscar Awards: None
Oscar Context:
The winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar was the Spanish Entry, “To Begin Again” (“Volver a Empezar”) in a contest that included: “Alsino and the Condo” from Nicaragua, “The Flight of the Eagle” from Sweden, and “Private Life” from the U.S.S.R.
France (Films de la Tour production)