THE WOMAN FROM ROSE HILL 1989
(La femme de Rose Hill)
Directed by Alain Tanner
In French with English subtitles
The films of Swiss director Alain Tanner (La salamandre, Jonas will be 25…) are some of the most poignant and sharpest of the last century. Sadly his movies have been marginalized and trashed by our commercial film distribution industry.
Julie is a young woman from Rose Hill (Republic of Mauritius, an Island off the off the southeast coast of Africa). She moves to a little village in Switzerland, responding to a proposal of marriage by her pen-pal Marcel. But when Julie arrives, everything is wrong right from the start. Director Alain Tanner is excellent in showing the culture shock of this young black woman, confronted by the horror of Switzerland… cold, clinical, ordered, regulated, Calvinist, snow-covered, brutally practical and ultimately abstract.
In his films director Alain Tanner always focuses on outsiders, and here we see Julie as utterly dispossessed. Finally she meets Jean, a neighbor, and they have an affair, which leads to damning judgments from the local community. This is a tender movie, totally unknown, by a master filmmaker, dealing with issues of immigration and the responsibilities of Europe’s colonialist past. This will be an outrageously rare screening of this brilliant and haunting gem, that was effectively banned by commercial distributors. […Lees verder]