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Available for rent


Quebec, 2011

Production : Domino FIlms, Les Films de l'Atalante, Ciné Qua Non

Programmed by Gabrielle Ouimet




Discover the life and work or Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987), the first woman named to the Académie française in 1980. Author of Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss, Yourcenar is the embodiment of erudition from another era. Like a road movie, the film invites us to discover the very places – European, North American, Egyptian or Indian – and people that left their mark on the writer and informed her process.

A word from Tënk

To read Yourcenar is a powerful experience; to hear her work read aloud is just as moving and striking. Marilù Mallet crafts a sensitive mediation out of Yourcenar’s literary autobiographical material in a virtuosic first-person narrative performed by Sophie Clément, whose husky and measured voice leads us to believe that Yourcenar herself is talking to us. The narration is supported by scrolling images: reconstructions, interviews with people who were touched by her work and life, sepia-coloured archival photographs that evoke a “disquieting melancholy.” This amalgamation renders the encounter with Yourcenar multidimensional and profoundly real. We discover therein the author’s various commitments: among others, a great concern for environmental issues. Mallet does a meticulous job of humanizing this woman of letters whose talent is in no way limited to intellectual rigour alone, highlighting the dreamy quality and sense of magic that fill her writings. The energetic throughline of the film are her travels and the accompanying wanderings of her mind, rooted in an uprooted childhood, but anchored in the love of simple things: a penchant towards grass and cows, towards a goat with golden horns.

Gabrielle Ouimet
Tënk’s Artistic Director

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Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4