Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Journal inachevé

Directed by Marilú Mallet
Canada / Chile, 1982 (documentary / fiction, 48 minutes, colour / black and white, English / French / Spanish)
Also known as "Les lettres", "Unfinished Diary"

Film Description [in French] :
"Autoportrait d'une femme, exilée et cinéaste, qui questionne son identité et le couple qu'elle formait avec un réalisateur."
-- Cinémathèque québécoise (source)

Film Description:
"In this moving docudrama, Chilean emigré Mallet struggles to make a film about her experience of profound isolation. Her English speaking husband, a prominent filmmaker, criticizes her subjective approach to filmmaking; their young son, raised in Quebec, speaks only French. Interviews with Isabel Allende and other Chilean exiles reveal a deep bond in this powerful, resonant film about language and gender, exile and immigration."
-- Women Make Movies (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Marilù Mallet
Produced by: Marilù Mallet, Dominique Pinel
Principal Cast: Marilù Mallet, Michael Rubbo, Nicolas Rubbo, Maria Luisa Segnoret, Isabel Allende
Narrator: Jean-Yves Collette, Marilù Mallet
Participants: Marilù Mallet, Michael Rubbo
Cinematography: Guy Borremans
Film Editing: Milicska Jalbert, Pascale Laverrière, Marilù Mallet
Production Company: Films de l'Atalante, Radio-Québec

Award won by Journal inachevé

Notes about Journal inachevé


Quote by the Director [in French]

"Au départ, j'avais l'idée d'un film intimiste sur la vie quotidienne. Je ne préjugeais pas de tout ce qui pourrait arriver, m'arriver, pendant le tournage; j'avais le sentiment que le plus intense serait l'imprévu. Je voulais construire une fiction avec du documentaire — les personnages sont des personnes réelles —, qui rejoint la fiction par la construction et le traitement : pas d'entrevues, pas de questions; un travail sur l'image et le son."
-- Marilú Mallet (source)

Quotes about Journal inachevé

"Rhythmically meditative and visually structured to underscore the intense subjectivity of the point of view (voice-over, camera presence, etc.), this often wrenching film takes a hard look at the specific difficulties experienced by women artists in exile, ranging from the misunderstanding and rejection of their work to the power imbalances characteristic of the inter- and intra-ethnocultural relationships with which they have to contend on a daily basis."
-- Elena Feder (source)

"Journal inachevé [...] articulates the personal and public, political and gender alienation in a plural, non-authoritative form which mixes direct cinema, improvised conversations, most notably and tensely with her Australian-born husband, brutal archive footage of Pinochet's putsch, and the director's voice narrating her diary."
-- Bill Marshall (source)

"Journal inachevé [...] partakes of private correspondence, an intimate journal, memories. It consists of seizing hold of and repeating a series of images summoned up by deprivation, desire, and the need to reconstruct a life still balancing between childhood and adolescence in Chile, the years of Popular Unity—a past that is still present in Montréal, in the person and in the engravings of the mother and Chilean friends who have no visa and are harassed by immigration—and also by the problems of present-day life: a weak marriage, a difficult child, the problematic integration into québécois society."
-- Janis L. Pallister (source)

Quote about Journal inachevé [in French]

"Dans Journal inachevé, les plans extérieurs sont larges, encore plus quand ils sont allégoriques : grandes étendues enneigées, plan éloigné d'une route qui se perd dans un décor nu, l'hiver, personnages réduits à une petite échelle dans la vastitude du paysage ou à leur seule présence dans le hors-champs. Ces plans surviennent le plus souvent dans les moments de malentendus dans le couple."
-- Denyse Therrien (source)

Publications by the Director about Journal inachevé

Bibliography for Journal inachevé

Brief Sections of Books

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

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