In 29 shots that are almost without dialogue, this film tells the story of a woman who makes the pragmatic decision to die. The film represents the chronicle of the gradual wiping out of a human being, taken from the subjective perspective of a distanced camera.
The woman portrayed is an actor. At the outset of the film, she loses the ability to talk on stage. This marks the beginning of a process during which she gradually loses touch with the outside world. Rejecting all form of comfort or sentimentality, she searches instead for a worthy riposte to her dismal situation. In her attempt to cling on to life, she subjects herself to a series of experiments, during which she experiences things that most people would seek to avoid. These experiments are of a sexual, physical, emotional, mental, political and philosophical nature. Their purpose is to avoid glaciation. However, these experiences only serve to expedite the freezing process.
The single take structure with no editing within sequences enables the viewer to see exactly what occurred in front of the camera. The film does not eschew the final act of self-destruction, nor does it romanticise the suicide.
by CS Leigh
with Béatrice Dalle, Guillaume Depardieu, Léos Carax
France / United Kingdom 2003 98’

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