Richard Dindo
Switzerland, France, 145 min

A documentary fiction taking the form of an investigation conducted not long after the poet’s death, this ambitious film is structured around Rimbaud’s writings and testimonies from those close to him, such as his mother, sister, childhood friend, teacher, and above all his friend and lover Paul Verlaine. An immersive exploration of the poet’s work, set against the backdrop of the history of France.

A documentary fiction taking the form of an investigation conducted not long after the poet’s death, this ambitious film is structured around Rimbaud’s writings and accounts from those close to him – played by actors – such as his mother, sister, childhood friend, teacher, and above all his friend and lover Paul Verlaine. An immersive exploration of the poet’s life – sometimes rootless and idle, full of uncertainty – set against the backdrop of the history of France, which allows Richard Dindo to undertake an extremely demanding and successful approach with regard to this author who fascinates him. As his subject died in 1891, he quite clearly cannot use real testimonies and implements a fictional device supported by shots – filmed in France and Africa – that are as evocative as they are ultimately rebellious. Far from a literal illustrative quest, the director on the contrary evolves freely within the framework he has invented for himself: a poetic perambulation in which the ubiquitous figure of Rimbaud is the only one without a face.

Duration
145 min
Year
1991
Country
Switzerland, France
Section
Maître du Réel
Language
French
Production
Robert BonerRichard Copans

Maître du Réel

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