Caught in the act with her lover Jean-Paul, Madeleine kills her husband. She urges Jean-Paul to leave and meet her on a certain day at “Gretel’s”, in Strasbourg. Jean-Paul has an accident and loses his memory. The appointment in Strasbourg is the only thing he can remember. At “Gretel’s”, he is approached by a couple who recognize him as Christian Vogel, the heir to a sizable fortune. Over the next few days, several other people confirm his new identity. But Jean-Paul is the unwitting victim of a plot. Only Madeleine can help him recover his memory.
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With ‘A Stranger in Strasbourg’ Valeria Sarmiento has embarked on a detective movie, that is a story whose twists and turns depend primarily on a hidden determinism and a voluntary construction. The result is a wry, intelligent play on the theme of intrigue and manipulation. A man with no memory wanders the streets of Strasbourg, a city whose spirit the director grasps well by filming it like a backlot movie set. In a matter of minutes, our amnesiac is identified as a wealthy businessman that his family has been trying to find for three years. We’ll say no more about the plot except that it runs like a train launched headlong down tracks that lead through areas of darkness, which Valeria Sarmiento plays with, while at the same time exposing their silliness. (Jean-François Rauger in “Le Monde”, August 20th 1998)