Simone and Claude live in a house with a lush garden, surrounded by a hedge that barely protects them from the growing violence and unrest in their low-income neighborhood. Simone mourns the loss of youth and possibility as Claude, a gym teacher who has been diagnosed with cancer, edges toward death. This is an unflinching portrait of a couple ravaged by illness and locked into mutual isolation — that is, until the arrival of a young boy brings hope and upsets their delicate danse macabre to devastating effect.
Pascale Kramer dissects romantic love’s psychic carnage while unsentimentally revealing the unique beauty born of an adult’s love for a child. As does Marguerite Duras, she wields spare language like a club and plumbs emotional depths rarely reached outside of poetry. A brilliant collision of hope and despair, The Child is a tour de force.
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