FR, 1975, 120′, Slo. sub.
Born in Vietnam in the days when it was known as French Indochina, Marguerite Duras was no stranger to the colonial milieu, and evokes it brilliantly in this seductive, dreamlike film. Delphine Seyrig is the elegant, ennui-plagued wife of a diplomat (Michael Lonsdale) in 1930s India, surrounded by suitors, haunted by the memory of a beggar woman’s unfathomable destitution, and persecuted by off-screen gossip. While remaining inside the lavishly appointed homes of the colonial upper class, the film is charged with an awareness of the terrible inequality upon which the grandeur in which these people live is built, the luxury that has become one woman’s prison.