"Couvre-feu". A Diary by Monique Saint-Hélier (1940-44)
Switzerland | 2022 | 70 min
Language : French
Subtitle : English
In summer, two teenage girls are exploring an uninhabited house in the country. In the attic, they discover the diary of the French-speaking Swiss writer Monique Saint-Hélier. Her written words come to life in their hands, bringing this exiled literary woman, weakened by illness and tormented by war, back to life for the duration of the film.
It is summer. Two teenage girls are exploring an uninhabited house in the country, frozen in time. In the attic, they discover a trunk full of photographs, drawings, paintings and, above all, handwritten pages, making up the war diary of the French-speaking Swiss writer Monique Saint-Hélier. The director Rachel Noël uses this fictional device to revive the pages of this literary woman and artist from La Chaux-de-Fonds, exiled in France from 1924. Throughout the film, these letters read in an ageless house resurrect Monique Saint-Hélier, who was bedridden for a large part of her life, weakened by illness and tormented during the Second World War that she spent in Paris, by an endless winter marked by constant penury. In a surprising manner, in suspended time, filmmaker Rachel Noël presents the beings who accompanied the writer during her life: her husband Blaise Briod, her friends Rainer Maria Rilke and Marie Laurencin, and the women who inspired her: Katherine Mansfield, Emily Brontë, Virginia Woolf and many others. A literary body of work is magnificently reborn through the power of film.
Ma mère s'appelle forêt, 2013
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