About the film
Release Date: Mar 21, 2019AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
Published in 1985 and translated into fifteen languages, Marguerite Duras’ La Douleur (pain) is considered one of the great literary works of the 20th century – a searing recollection of her experiences in Paris during the Second World War. Adapting such a work for the screen is an ambitious undertaking, and one that has garnered its fair share of controversy under the directorial gaze of Emmanuel Finkiel.
It is 1944. Marguerite Duras (Mélanie Thierry, The Dancer, AF FFF2017) remembers her past as a Resistance member in Nazi-occupied France with her husband, Robert Antelme, and the unbearable pain of waiting after the Gestapo deports him. She throws herself into a desperate struggle to secure his return.
In doing so, Duras plays a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, including a chilling relationship with a local Vichy collaborator, Rabier (Benoît Magimel, 150 Milligrams, AF FFF2017), whose motives are unclear and suspicious.
Primarily built on two chapters from Duras’ six-part book, Finkiel removes the radicalism of its source text and repurposes it in a far more conventional, accessible way. Visually, this is an epic, heartrending depiction of sorrow and the lengths one woman will endure to be reunited with the man she loves.
French with English subtitles