Since it's billed as "Directions in Music by Miles Davis," it should come as little surprise that Filles de Kilimanjaro is the beginning of a new phase for Miles, the place that he begins to dive headfirst into jazz-rock fusion. It also happens to be the swan song for his second classic quintet, arguably the finest collective of musicians he ever worked with, and what makes this album so fascinating is that it's possible to hear the breaking point – though his quintet all followed him into fusion (three of his supporting players were on In a Silent Way), it's possible to hear them all break with the conventional notions of what constituted even adventurous jazz, turning into something new. According to Miles, the change in "direction" was as much inspired by a desire to return to something earthy and bluesy as it was to find new musical territory, and Filles de Kilimanjaro bears him out.
Jacqueline is sixteen. Her parents are kept very busy by their mutual careers (Dad is a renowned attorney and Mum is a doctor running her own clinic). When they become aware that they neglect their daughter they send her to a boarding school for girls, impeccably run by Mme Vuillard. There Jacqueline meets her new friends who are, nearly all, the children of divorced parents.They all found a league against divorce they name Licodipa.When it is the turn of Jacqueline's parents to split up, and when Margot, Jacqueline's best friend, attempts to kill herself, distress sets in among the girls of the institution…
Noémie and Priscilla, two teenage girls from working class backgrounds, cultivate the same violence, the same contempt of the world. They are a source of serious concern for family and friends, who sense them capable of going to extremes. Noémie (Lhomeau) has already tried to kill herself once when with the work of German Romanic writer Kleist ringing true to her, convinces equally unhappy best friend Priscilla (Tissier) to make a suicide pact. The two of them can see no reason to go on living but the practicalities and opportunity to go through with that plan is harder than they envisage.
In a luxurious villa in a remote part of the country, girls are taken against their will to work as prostitutes. One of the girls, with the help of one of her customers, manages to escape. She goes to the police for help. A detective investigates the case and finds more than he bargained for.