LA DOULEUR (THE WAR, A MEMOIR)
written by MARGUERITE DURAS
directed by Patrice Chéreau & Thierry Thieû Niang
under the eye of Thierry Thieû Niang
During the last war, Marguerite Duras has experienced the waiting of her husband’s return from a concentration camp. She wrote a diary as a testimony of her own sufferings. Clear-headed, astonished, sometimes desperate, she described her feelings, fears, hopes, the people she met and her fights as a Resistant. Marguerite Duras gathered extracts of this diary under the name « The war : a Memoir ».
« The war : a Memoir » (La douleur) is the diary relating a punishing absence, a threatfull waiting, despair, the shame of being alive while waiting for the return of Robert Antelme, her husband sent to a concentration camp. By the time the war ended in 1945 she still did not know whether he was alive or not, and within her the war continued while people celebrated in the streets. Hanging around on the city, running from desk to desk, she would despertely hope for a sign until he comes back, stunned, emaciated, unrecognizable, almost dead…
With the help of Thierry Thieû Niang, Patrice Chéreau stages one of his favorite actresses, the striking Dominique Blanc. She performs one of the most disturbing texts in post-war literature: Marguerite Duras’s diary, in which she records her life after the liberation of Paris and awaiting the return of her husband, a prisoner in the camps. Dominique Blanc echoes, even in his silences, his sighs, the simplicity and intensity of Durassian writing.
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