Dir. Andrzej Zulawski, 1981, 124 min, 35mm
With Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, and Heinz Bennent
In English, French, and German with English subtitles
You might wonder whether Adjani was truly possessed while shooting this allegorical fantasy about a couple violently separating in the shadow of the Berlin Wall: the actress has herself stated that her wild, César-winning performance as alienated housewife Anna and her doppelgänger Helen revealed things she would “rather never have discovered.”
A cult movie and a misunderstood classic, Possession is the paranoid masterpiece by Andrzej Zulawski, a constantly destabilizing exploration of sexual, spiritual, and political duality produced by the visionary director while in exile from his native Poland and undergoing a messy divorce
Nominated in 1981 for a Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival.
“Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (1981) is a celluloid canvas of such intense emotional torment that it can effectively act as a two-hour advertisement about the inescapable dangers of marital union.”
– Senses of Cinema