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Hedwig, a young wealthy woman growing up in the straight-jacket of bourgeois morality in the Victorian era, falls victim to a loveless marriage. The loss of her lover and the death of her child lead to mental illness, morphine addiction and prostitution on the streets of Paris during the 1880s.
Charting a 19th-century woman’s descent into madness, The Cool Lakes of Death is Nouchka van Brakel’s masterwork. Ravishingly textured, and with a cyclonic performance from Renée Soutendijk, this shattering psychological portrait is an expansive tale of sexual awakening and patriarchal oppression.