December 19 (Wednesday) 8 pm
December 20 (Thursday) 8 pm
December 21 (Friday) 8 pm
Directed by Marguerite Duras
France 1974, 16mm, color, 120 min.
With Delphine Seyrig, Michel Lonsdale, Matthieu Carrière
French with English subtitles
Best known as one of the major practitioners of the “new novel,” Marguerite Duras began her involvement with the cinema in the late 1950s and went on to write and direct ten feature films. India Song remains her masterpiece, and while it was shown continuously in Paris for nearly four years, it never received theatrical release in this country. The film is an oblique love story set in India in the 1930s, populated by a group of characters whose actions (and—most notably—inaction) were prefigured in her earlier novels. Here Duras focuses on a summer monsoon season during which a group of Europeans—Anne-Marie Stretter, the Vice-Consul, the Ambassador’s Attaché—haunt the film’s interiors through their reflections in ballroom mirrors, through the faceless voices that narrate their stories, and through the memories they endure. The voices also remember the story of a beggar woman, whose mournful tale counterpoints the love story in its recollection of famine, monsoon, and heat.