Friday, July 12 | 5:30 pm
Unseen for almost seventy years, Olivia is a remarkable work by one of France’s pioneering female filmmakers, Jacqueline Audry. Set at a 19th century French boarding school for girls, the film follows the title character as she arrives at the beautiful, yet strangely forbidding institution that will become her new home. Soon teenage Olivia finds herself at the center of an ongoing power struggle between the school’s two headmistresses, elegant, exacting Julie (Edwige Feuillère) and glamorous, high-strung Cara (Simone Simon, Cat People). The two women compete for the loyalty and affection of their students, fostering a hot-house atmosphere of distrust and repressed desire that threatens to rupture the students’ cloistered world. Sensitively acted, beautifully photographed, and brimming with lush, Victorian design, Olivia imbues a nuanced portrait of burgeoning same-sex desire with a seductive air of gothic melodrama. We’re proud to present this stunning restoration of a groundbreaking feminist classic.
Director Jacqueline Audry | 1951 | In French with English subtitles | 88 minutes | NR | DCP