Theater
La Douleur

Based on the text by Marguerite Duras
Starring Dominique Blanc

US Premiere

Wednesday, March 13 & Thursday, March 14
7:30 pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Directed by Patrice Chéreau and Thierry Thieû Niang

Based on Marguerite Duras’ 1985 text The War: A Memoir, this performance recounts the anguish of a woman awaiting her husband’s return from the Dachau concentration camp. In 1945, as the globe celebrated an end to World War II, Duras (1914-1996) was despondent; her husband remained missing, and she had no idea if he was dead or alive.

French actress Dominique Blanc reprises her 2010 Molière Best Actress Award-winning role in this wrenching performance. Re-staged by Patrice Chéreau (Jahrhundertring) with choreography by Thierry Thieû Niang (Une jeune fille de 90 ans), La Douleur is resonant with Duras’ physical and psychological turmoil throughout WWII. The adaptation echoes the simplicity and intensity of Duras’ writing.

80 min
In French with English supertitles

Dominique Blanc

Critically-acclaimed French film and theater actress Dominique Blanc is a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour and has won four César Awards, the Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup for Best Actress, and three Molière Awards for Best Actress. Her lauded stage roles have spanned Une maison de poupée (1997) to Les liaisons dangereuses (2016), and some of her best known films include Milou en mai (1990), Ceux qui m’aiment prendront le train (1998), and L’Autre (2008).

Patrice Chéreau

Patrice Chéreau (1944-2013) was a French opera and theater director, filmmaker, actor, and producer. He’s best known for his films La Reine Margot (1994) and Intimacy (2001), and for his 1976 staging of Richard Wagner’s Jahrhundertring. He gave master classes in film at Columbia University, the City College of New York, and the School of Visual Arts, and was president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

Thierry Thieû Niang

Dancer and choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang is an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, a laureate of the Villa Médicis hors les murs in Vietnam, a member of the Unesco-Aschberg Foundation in Kenya, and was awarded the SACD Prize for choreography in 2019. He is also a trained therapist, and organizes choreographic research workshops with children, the elderly, people with autism, and prisoners.

Marguerite Duras

French novelist, playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) studied law and worked for the French government prior to World War II, during which she was a member of the French Resistance. Her husband, Robert Antelme, was deported to Buchenwald and eventually to Dachau, from which he was rescued in 1945. Her best-selling autobiographical work about the experience, L’Amant (1984), won the Prix Goncourt in 1984, and her script for the film Hiroshima mon amour (1959) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.