70th Venice International Film Festival
Director: Alberto Barbera
Out of Competition
Germany, 1912. A young graduate of humble origins gets a job at a steelworks. His abilities earn him the trust of the elderly and ailing owner, who makes him his personal secretary. Often working at his master’s house the young man gets to know the boss’s young wife, a beautiful and reserved woman. Very soon they develop a rapport made up solely of glances and silences, but when the young man is forced to leave for Mexico on business, the woman reveals her love and promises him that upon his return she will be his. Separated by the ocean the two lovers exchange passionate letters. Then the First World War breaks out and the links between Europe and South America are interrupted. Eight years go by, millions die in the war, Europe is in ruins. The young man returns home. Will their love have survived the passing of time?
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language: English - s/t Italian
Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, Richard Madden
Une promesse is a haunting, intense, sensual film. Haunting, because more than ever, the lighting, the sets, the way of filming, the script, the rhythm, all of it will be finely wrought to best convey the vertiginous sensations of the story. Intense, because the novella by Stefan Zweig is a marvel of concision, as if the author had taken to heart to rid it of anything that did not directly feed the story and the feeling that it vehicles. Sensual, because that is what it’s all about: the lover’s desire. As I approach this new film, I know how much my attention will at every moment be mobilised toward the expression of those “little nothing-at-alls that transport us,” toward being close to the characters, their torments, the high emotional stakes that Zweig describes so well. I’m delighted to be preparing a film in which silence is as important as dialogue, a film of few words where everything is said.