It all starts in the dark. A darkness that will never really leave us, but will rather thicken. A musician and stage director, played by Reda Kateb, is standing facing his console, making some sound tests. He is rehearsing in the auditorium of the Opéra de Paris. From there, he is directing prima ballerina Marie-Agnès Gillot for an opera entitled Sarah Winchester, which is inspired by the life of this American woman whose fate was so peculiar. Sarah is married to the only son of gun magnate Winchester, known for the famous repeating rifle that spawned the colossal wealth of the family. Sarah is to lose her daughter Anne, who is suffering from a degenerative disease, and then she is to lose her husband. Because she will not give in to fate, she sees some psychics. These suggest she should build a house to accommodate the ghosts of the departed.
Responding to a proposal made by the Opéra de Paris, Bertrand Bonello reminisced a rich and long cinematographic tradition initiated by Gaston Leroux’s eponymous novel, about a phantom who has chosen this high place of Art as his abode. Thus are the backstage, stage and many a nook and cranny in this magic place haunted by the story of Sarah W. But, as a further echo to what binds the story of this woman to the architecture itself, this film, whose scope is quite impressive given its minimalist dimension, presents itself as a shell that may welcome the ghost-like forms of an opera and a ballet whose sole existence will be this mere time of researches and hesitations that unfurl in a still, purely interior dance - density on sight. FIDMarseille
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