The wife of a disgraced French diplomat suffers from “leprosy of the soul,” another term for ennui. Through a mélange of off-screen gossip, we learn of Anne-Marie’s scandalous conduct in 1930s India and her eventual fate, engendered by boredom, colonial guilt, and a string of meaningless affairs.
Set in the colonialist homes of ‘30s India, renowned writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras cast Delphine Seyrig as a diplomat’s wife haunted by imperialist guilt and the anguishing emptiness of opulence. Notably, the film eschews sync sound, advancing its narrative through various off-screen voices.
Gallic avant-gardists make great zombie movies. Rivette saw the screwball comedy of the bourgeois morts vivant in Celine and Julie Go Boating, Marguerite Duras sees a slow, aching valse in which the soundtrack goes its own way.