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Memoir of War La douleur

Emmanuel Finkiel / France, Switzerland, Belgium / 2017 / 127 min / French

1944, occupied France. Gifted young writer Marguerite Duras and her husband Robert Antelme are active members of the resistance. When Robert is deported, Marguerite is prepared to do anything to save him. To do so, she releases herself into dangerous circumstances with local collaborator Rabier - but are his motives as pure as meets the eye, or is he trying to obtain to details of the resistance movement as an informer? Based on Marguerite Duras’s 1944 autobiographical novel, Pain.

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In the 1944 Nazi-occupied France, the young and brilliant author is an active Resistance member with her husband Robert Antelme. When he is deported by the Gestapo, she throws herself into a desperate struggle to get him back. She develops a chilling relationship with a local Vichy collaborator, Rabier, and takes terrible risks to save Robert, playing a cat-and-mouse game of unpredictable meetings all over Paris. Does he really want to help her? Or is he trying to dig up information about the anti-Nazi underground movement? The war finally ends and camp victims return, an excruciating period for Marguerite. But she continues to wait, bound to the torment of absence even beyond hope.

“The term ‘douleur’ is a complex, difficult concept. Complexity must lie at the absolute heart of our project. More than ever, the idea is to tell the truth. Primo Levi and Robert Antelme spoke the truth. They spoke of complexity and guilt in relation to the death camps. Well there was complexity among those waiting for people to come home too. Amongst those who had to live with the waiting.” (Emmanuel Finkiel)

Emmanuel Finkiel
Born in 1961 in France, Finkiel worked an assistant director for many years, including on Kieslowski's Three Colours: Blue, White and Red. He has been writing and directing films himself since 1995. His feature début, Voyages, was awarded at several film festivals in France, including Cannes.

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