Archive of films Séraphine / Séraphine
France / Belgium
2008, 125 min
Naïve painter Séraphine de Senlis, feistily portrayed by Yolande Moreau, was a revelation to the art world during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This biopic about her association with an enthusiastic patron and her wholly unambitious obsession with her work won seven French César awards, including Best Film.
Séraphine might have spent her whole life washing bed linen in the river and scrubbing floors for the local dignitaries if art patron Wilhelm Uhde hadn’t succumbed to the magic of her naïve paintings. However, when the artist, believing that her inspiration is driven by guardian angels, is relieved of her daily tasks, the spectre of fashionable society starts to destroy her. The film adopts a leisurely pace and finds beauty in simple things, duly underlining the fact that art can be completely removed from the gallery context, and is indeed capable of defying elitism. However disagreeable Séraphine, acting instinctively, might appear to be, the selflessness with which she approaches her chores and her creative work reveals her as a pure soul whose conduct gives the audience a sense of tranquillity. The film captures the mood of lazy afternoons and creative energy, and adapts its rhythm to suit the demeanour of the solitary protagonist. While it doesn’t go into details, the story is conveyed openly and with a sense of integrity, aided to this end by the heroine’s fixation with her chosen goal and the total single-mindedness of her actions.
About the director
Martin Provost (b. 1957, Brest) worked as an actor for many years and then began directing films and writing books. His stage plays were followed by the novel Aime-moi vite (1992) and short films. In 1997 he debuted in feature film with Tortilla y cinéma. His next film, Le ventre de Juliette was screened at festivals all over the world. Séraphine is the director’s third and, to date, most successful feature.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Screenplay:||Martin Provost, Marc Abdelnour|
|Dir. of Photography:||Laurent Brunet|
|Producer:||Miléna Poylo, Gilles Sacuto|
|Cast:||Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Anne Bennent, Geneviève Mnich, Nico Rogner, Adélaïde Leroux|