French director Claire Simon is keeping the spotlight on women’s bodies from birth to death for her next documentary.
Simon, who was at the San Sebastian Film Festival with his latest film “I Want to Talk About Duras”, began shooting in the city of Hopital Tenon in a public hospital in Paris this week.
With “This Body of Women” (literally English translation of the title) she plans to explore all women’s health cycles from birth to death.
“I am doing a documentary about the bodies of women in a hospital in Paris. That’s all [medical issues] Around gynecology, such as giving birth, abortion, endometriosis, IVF, cancer. It’s about all the stops in life but only for women, ”she said.
Simon did some preliminary filming in July and expects to finish by November.
“It’s an incredible institution with top scientists. There are a lot of immigrants like the French people and everyone is treated equally, ”he noted.
This famous filmmaker never seems to stop working, and made a documentary in a village in the south of France when he was writing “Duras” last year. “It was just about men,” she says.
He wrote “Duras” in the spring of last year and filmed parts of it last summer and then in January.
It is a dialogue-heavy film starring Swan Arloud as Ian Andrea, a man who is 38 years younger than his famous writer partner Marguerite Duras.
The film is based on the audiotape of a conversation book between Andrea and Duras, a two-year relationship with French journalist Michel Manx (played by Emanuel Devos).
“The challenge was to make a film about the conversation and it wasn’t just a discussion or talking head. This is another introspection in this film. It’s more about listening and talking than true conversation, which can argue about who is right or wrong, “says Simon.” You see, he’s portrayed a lot more than that.
While writing the script, he learned how to deal with the challenge of illustrating this broad dialogue. “What’s different about a documentary is that you can cut if you film a conversation, but it’s a great luxury of fiction that you know your shot will be complete.”
Simon wrote during the lockdown. “I broke my ankle so I was paralyzed. I was locked before anyone else, ”he says.
What did he like about Duras? “I loved Duras,” he says. “He is a very good portrait maker. He gives a good portrait of women and men. She is a feminist but curious about men. He was intimidated by his childhood in Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s always about her. It is his great strength. ”
For Andrea: “He decided that his life was on the verge of normalcy because he wanted his life to be valuable in a way. He wanted to achieve immortality. He fell in love and he wanted immortality,” says Simon.