The Last Letter

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Wiseman's simple and powerful adaptation of his own stage production of this Holocaust testimony, itself taken from a chapter of Vassili Grossman's novel Life and Fate, relates a mother's story of her last days in the ghetto of a small Ukrainian town, through her last letter to her distant son. It's a one-woman performance, featuring Samie, the Comédie Française actress who acted for Wiseman's theatre version, and she is extraordinary as the literate doctor mounting her monologue on a stage aided by only the subtlest shiftings of beamed light and shade, herself augmented by silhouettes. Through the work of mutual support, and the accelerating realisation of her coming death, she finds 'In all this, something pure, paternal and good,' a spiritual apotheosis of grand human dignity and defiance.

Release details

Duration: 61 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Frederick Wiseman
Screenwriter: Frederick Wiseman
Cast: Catherine Samie
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