Dir: Márta Mészáros
France/Hungary, 1980, Hungarian, 105mins, DCP
Cast: Lili Monori, Isabelle Huppert, Jan Nowicki
Mészáros ventures into two of women’s most heartbreaking experiences – infidelity and infertility – in this piercing period elegy. Wealthy but barren, a spoiled heiress hires her seamstress friend to conceive a child with her husband – a transaction that blurs the boundaries of their social roles and leads all involved into a tragedy. Set in a pre-war Europe under the Nazi’s encroaching threat, it’s the first film where the director positions her female theme into a historical perspective. The young brilliant Isabelle Huppert and Lili Monori bring quiet intensity to this morally and emotionally unsettling film as they morph into each other, reminiscent of Bergman’s Persona.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition