Memoir of War

Memoir of War

Emmanuel Finkiel (2017)

126min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Although renowned for her innovative, iconoclastic writings and films, Marguerite Duras may well have struggled to find a cinematic equivalent to the conscious blur of fact and fiction that she employed in La Douleur, a 1985 work based on her wartime diaries, which included an account of her wait for the return of husband Robert Antelme from Dachau. But writer-director Emmanuel Finkiel merely contents himself with periodically shortening the field depth of Alexis Kavyrchine's camera to suggest the fug of confusion and excruciation experienced by Marguerite (Mélanie Thierry), as she awaits news of her spouse while witnessing the ravaged condition of the camp survivors arriving back in Paris. Making extensive use of voiceover narration, Finkiel also explores Marguerite's relationships with Gestapo collaborator Pierre Rabier (Benoît Magimel) and Antelme's Resistance comrades, François Mitterand (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) and Dionys Mascolo (Benjamin Biolay), although her encounters with Jewish widow Madame Katz (Shulamit Adar) are markedly more poignant. The fact the film failed to convert any of its eight César nominations says much, but this still represents a bold bid to recreate a highly distinctive recollection of a unique time.

Cast & Crew

Marguerite Duras Mélanie Thierry
Pierre Rabier Benoît Magimel
Dionys Mascolo Benjamin Biolay
François Mitterand alias François Morland Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
Robert Antelme Emmanuel Bourdieu
Madame Bordes Anne-Lise Heimburger
Georges Beauchamp Patrick Lizana
Madame Katz Shulamit Adar
Director Emmanuel Finkiel
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: New WaveReleased on: 24 May 2019