'Scenes from a farewell' would be a suitable subtitle for this remarkable first feature film by Marion Hänsel, after the book by Dominique Rolin. She shifted the location from Paris to Antwerp, the city she was living in at the time and which we see in Il était un petit navire. Eva is keeping her dying spouse company on a houseboat on the Schelde river. His ex is also present for these last 24 hours in the no-man's land between life that goes on and unavoidable death.

Hänsel depicts the tense situation from Eva's perspective in a sober, yet aptly composed form, supported by calm, stylish camerawork. Full of intense emotions vying for primacy: the power of love alongside pain, desires, guilt and impending loneliness. A poetic meditation consisting of relatively independent scenes interlarded with memories of past happiness. Awarded the Belgian film critics' prize.

Filmmaker
Marion Hänsel
Country
Belgium, Switzerland
Year
1982
Medium
35mm
Length
80’
Language
French
Producer
Marion Hänsel
Production Company
Man's Films Productions
Sales
Cinematek
Writer
Marion Hänsel
Cinematography
Walther van den Ende
Editor
Susana Rossberg
Music
Serge Kochyne
Cast
Heinz Bennent, Natasha Parry, Johan Leysen, Francine Blistin, Patrick Massieu, Marion Hänsel