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  • Dir. Claire Denis
  • France/West Germany/Cameroon
  • 1989
  • 105 min.
  • PG-13
  • 4K DCP

In French, English and Hausa with English subtitles

  • Assistive Listening
  • Subtitled
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Weekend Classics

Claire Denis drew on her own childhood experiences growing up in colonial French Africa for her multi-layered, languorously absorbing feature debut, which explores many of the themes that would recur throughout her work. Returning to the town where she grew up in Cameroon after many years living in France, a white woman (Mireille Perrier) reflects on her relationship with Protée (Isaach De Bankolé), a Black servant with whom she formed a friendship while not fully grasping the racial divides that governed their worlds. (Synopsis courtesy of the Criterion Channel)

“A deliberately beautiful film…. But it is not a travelogue and it is not a love story. It is about how racism can prevent two people from looking each other straight in the eyes, and how they punish each other for the pain that causes them. This is one of the best films of the year.” —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times (1989)

“It’s astonishing how early on in her career Denis had a handle on her distinct brand of visual composition. Hers is a genius for showing not telling….” —Sophie Monks Kaufman, Little White Lies

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense MediaIMDb and as well as through general internet searches.