Zócalo presented Philippe Claudel’s directorial debut, “I’ve Loved You So Long” in Hollywood at the Harmony Gold Theatre last night, October 14th. Claudel’s film is a stark portrayal of one woman’s emancipation, both from literal prison and the walls she has herself built to survive unimaginable pain. As the director explained during the post-screening discussion with Los Angeles Times columnist Meghan Daum, “the great lesson in the story is the discovery of the importance of other [people]. Without others, we are nothing.” Claudel’s dim hope is in people, of all things. Kristen Scott Thomas shows her character, Juliette, slowly awakening to this possibility against all her expectations and instincts. Claudel discards the notion that “hell, it is the others,” as Jean Paul-Sartre’s characters decide in Huis-Clos (No Exit). Here, the people around Juliette instead offer hope, a torch to follow out of the psyche’s darkest hell.
For a cinematic review, the Guardian’s September rave is highly recommended: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/sep/26/worldcinema.drama