Unoccupied Zone: The Impossible Life of Simone Weil

Cathy Lee Crane

2006 | 00:45:00 | United States / France | English, French | B&W | Stereo | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Artist Portraits, European Film/Video, Experimental Film, Film or Videomaking

This portrait is not simply an account of Simone Weil’s life, but rather the skein of her ideas. The “unoccupied zone” is therefore only marginally meant to refer to the southern part of France under Vichy. It is more importantly an existential labyrinth imaged by the film itself; a psychic space through which Weil passed while in exile in her own country. The film shot in 16mm black-and-white stages the “spectral theatre” of her mind through a mise-en-scene whose rear screen projections of live-feed video and archival newsreels antagonize the spectacle of biographical re-enactment being played out before it.

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Prizes + Awards

Official Selection, Le Festival du Film Strasbourg, 2006 

Exhibitions + Festivals

St. Olaf College, 2009

Cornell Cinema-Centennial on Weil, 2009

Southern Circuit: High Point Theatre, High Point, North Carolina, 2008 

The Media Arts Project, Asheville, North Carolina, 2008 

Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008 

The Arts Council of Southwest Louisiana and The Lake Area Film Group, Lake Charles, Louisiana, 2008

The Light Factory, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2008

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, Kentucky, 2008

Visiting Artist Series, SUNY Binghamton, 2006 

University Film and Video Association (UFVA) Juried Screening, 2006