FRANCE, GERMAY

POSSESSION

1980 – 35mm – color – 124′

 

Direction: Andrzej Zulawski

Screenplay: Frederic Tutten, Andrzej Zulawski

Cinematography:Bruno Nuytten

Editing:Marie-Sophie Dubus, Suzanne Lang-Willar

Set design:Holger Gross

Music:Andrzej Korzynski

Costumes: Ingrid Zoré

Cast: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent, Carl Duering, Johanna Hofer, Shaun Lawton, Michael Hogben

Producer: Marie-Laure Reyre

Production: Oliane Troduction, Marianne Productions, Soma Films

 

SYNOPSIS

Back home from a long business trip, Marc finds his wife Anna more and more strange and apathetic. They live in Berlin, in a house right next to the Wall dividing the city into two distinct areas. The man finds out that Anna has an affair, but this is not, as it may seem, a stale and cheap story of a love triangle: the truth is that the woman is trapped in a crazy nightmare, living a secret life and going so far as to kill anyone who tries to intrude. Anna deceives both her husband and her lover as she regularly goes into a sordid apartment, where she has sexual intercourse with a monster, a jelly creature which has complete dominion over her.

 

CRITICAL NOTE

Possession is the “monstrous” work of an author who has understood and managed to portray the latent madness of those who desperately seek a meaning for their life. With cold precision, Andrzej Zulawski builds the magnetic field triggering the subconscious instincts of the characters, involved in a catastrophic mental explosion of uncontrollable violence. While, at a superficial level, the story deals with the tiring fights of a couple in crisis, its deep structure reveals the ghosts and secrets of a mind torn by its yearning for the absolute.” (Mario Calderale, Segnocinema n. 4, June 1982)

AWARDS

1981 Cannes FF – Competition: Isabelle Adjani Best Actress

1982 César: Isabelle Adjani Best Actress

1983 Fantasporto:  Audience Prize, Special Mention; Best Actress (I. Adjani)