Les Mains Négatives was shot from the window of a moving car in the early hours of the morning, during a popular holiday season. The deserted boulevards of Paris are punctuated by interspersed groups of dark-skinned workers, stray prostitutes and vagabonds. It is an ode to the excluded of humanity deepened by the reference to the drawings of hands found in many caves dating from the Magdalenian age. Duras alternates between speaking to a man who painted a prehistoric stencil of a hand (main négative) or talking as if she were that man. —beforecinema.blogspot.com
4 April 1914, Gia Dinh, French Cochinchina. [now Vietnam] – 3 March 1996, Paris, France.
Ms. Duras was born in southern Vietnam and lost her father at age 4. The family savings of 20 years bought the family a small plot in Cambodia, but everything was lost in a single season’s flooding. The disaster killed her mother as a result. After high school in Saigon, Ms. Duras left Indochina to study law in Paris. As a young woman, she worked as a secretary in France’s Ministry of Colonies from 1935 to 1941, before becoming a writer. She wrote 34 novels from 1943 to 1993, and became an enduring part of Paris’s intellectual elite. In addition to her writing, she also directed about 16 films. For the film India Song (1975), she won France’s Cinema Academy Grand Prix. She claimed to have rescued French president François Mitterand during World War II, when he was a resistance fighter and remained a friend and unconditional campaigner. Her most noted novel is “L’Amant”, the story of a girl… read more