In a country where women are in charge, a man (Vincent Lacoste) goes to unusual lengths to make his dream of marrying the daughter (Charlotte Gainsbourg) of a military leader come true.
Jacky in Womens Kingdom (French: ), also billed as Jacky in the Kingdom of Women, is a 2014 French comedy film directed by Riad Sattouf and starring Vincent Lacoste, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Didier Bourdon.
The film is set in a world, the Popular Democratic Republic of Bubunne, in which women hold the power and men are forced to wear veils and stay at home.
The film takes place in a fictional state of Bubun (or Bubunia), a matriarchal totalitarian country led by ruthless La generale (Generaless) (Anemone). In Bubun, roles of men and women are swapped, up to the point where male population is deprived of any civil rights, including work, education, military service, freedom of marriage etc. People worship The White Horses (making horses sacred animals) and the only source of nourishment is "paste" (tasteless viscous liquid delivered from waterpipe-like sinks). The country is isolated from the rest of the world, borders are guarded by armed squads, and public executions are in order (mostly involving men as condemned).
Jacky (V. Lacoste) lives in poverty with his mother, being in love with La colonelle (Coloness) (Charlotte Gainsbourg), Generalesss daughter and the future leader of the state. Jacky is also one of the few boys with at least some education: his uncle Julin (Michel Hazanavicius), gigolo and contrabandist, pre-matriarchy military officer, teaches the nephew literacy. Jackys aunt is quite rich, yet her sons constantly bully Jacky for being so poor.
Generaless proclaims a grand ball, at which the Lead Rider (the current leaders husband) will be chosen for her daughter as she succeeds as a ruler of Bubun. Jackys mother cannot afford a ticket to the ball, and Jacky desperately tries to make Julin give up the "treasure" left by Jackys father. Jacky reports Julin to the police, yet unexpectedly authorities find Julin guilty of treason (printing illegal pamphlets) and incarcerate him for subsequent hanging. Sheriffess (Valerie Bonneton), grateful to Jacky for informing her, leaves him a free ticket to the ball.
After Jackys mother dies (ironically, due to Jackys own actions; sleepless because of the ball preparations, he cleaned her boots so well that she slipped), his aunt takes him in, but refuses to let him come to the ball. At this point, Jacky flees the village, only to be caught by Sherifess and immediately rescued by Julin (who escaped the imprisonment by "riding wardens until they knocked out"). Together, they manage to get to the palace. While Julin intends to sell his stash of vegetables and get money for crossing the border, Jacky wants to get to the ceremony and confess his love to Coloness.
During the ball, Coloness invites Jacky (disguised as a female officer) to her quarters and tells him that she does not want to be the new Generaless, and tries to seduce him (believing Jacky to be a woman). The Generaless, however, interrupts them, as she already chose the Lead Rider for her daughter. Jackys cover is blown up when his relatives recognize him, and he finally tells the Coloness he loves her, revealing himself to be a man. When Generaless orders Jacky to be caught and killed, he ventures deeper into the palace, discovering that "paste" is actually processed and enriched feces (as the Generalesss adjutant puts it, "the poor eat their own shit and are happy"). To reveal the truth, Jacky overloads the main cauldron, making the country realize what their food is made of.
Hiding under the Colonesss bed, Jacky convinces her of his love and spends a night with her, stating that he will love her regardless of who she is. In the morning, she shows him a crowd of men outside the palace: the entire country believes Jacky to be a hero (not without Julins provocation). Jacky is then captured and sentenced to death, yet Generaless offers him a deal: life and marriage to her daughter in exchange for his cooperation in preventing rebellion. When he agrees, she tries to cut off his tongue (stating that Jacky "has seen too much"), but is immediately strangled to death by Coloness.
Together, the two open the borders of Bubun, establish democracy and introduce total equality, as well as restore the countrys agriculture. In the last scene, when Coloness and Jacky are about to officially marry, they announce that Bubunia wants "no more secrets from its people" and strip naked in front of the crowd, revealing that Coloness is actually a man, and that they, in fact, just entered gay marriage (since Generaless had no daughters despite years of trying, she wanted her last child to become the state leader despite being male). The film ends with a woman from the crowd yelling "Blasphemy!".Vincent Lacoste as Jacky
Charlotte Gainsbourg as La colonelle
Didier Bourdon as Brunu
Anemone as La generale
Valerie Bonneton as La cherife
Michel Hazanavicius as Julin
Noemie Lvovsky as Tata
Laure Marsac as La mere de Jacky
Riad Sattouf as Mit Kronk
Valeria Golino as Bradi Vune
Emmanuelle Devos as La presentatrice
India Hair as Corune