From Wikipedia :
Vénus aveugle (Blind Venus) is a 1941 French film melodrama, directed by Abel Gance, and one of the first films to be undertaken in France during the German occupation. (It is also sometimes cited as La Vénus aveugle.) In the upheaval following the German invasion of France, in summer 1940 Abel Gance went to the Free Zone in the south and arranged a contract to make a film at the Victorine studios in Nice. The original title was to be Messaline, drame des temps modernes (“Messalina, a drama of modern times”), but it was later changed to Vénus aveugle. Although the film is not set in any specified period, Gance wanted it to be seen as relevant to the contemporary situation in France.
La Vénus aveugle is at the crossroads of reality and legend… The heroine … gradually sinks deeper and deeper into despair. Only when she has reached the bottom of the abyss does she encounter the smile of Providence that life reserves for those who have faith in it, and she can then go serenely back up the slope towards happiness. If I have been able to show in this film that elevated feelings are the only force that can triumph over Fate, then my efforts will not have been in vain. (Abel Gance)