Calamity Jane & Delphine Seyrig, A Story


  • Babette Mangolte

  • 2020
    • France
    • United States
  • 87 min
  • PRODUCTION
  • Babette Mangolte

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The film is a homage to Delphine Seyrig and her fascination for the book Calamity Jane’s Letters to her Daughter. Those letters are from a mother to an absent daughter which became a feminist landmark in the late 1970. Delphine decided to work on a film project about Calamity Jane to reveal Jane’s sensibility and insight about life in those letters to a daughter who doesn’t receive them as they are not sent. The reading of those letters permits a self-reflection about feminism and motherhood. It is also a homage to woman’s creativity and a long-term commitment to share other women stories.
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PRINT SOURCE: Centre Simone de Beauvoir, archives@centre-simone-de-beauvoir.com

“I had Delphine’s various draft scripts, a storyboard, and the 16mm footage that I could use. I tried to edit the 16mm film to shift from fact to fiction to an imaginary other world. In that world were charismatic people, like Calamity Jane and her daughter. It is also lucky that in 1983, I had shot images where Delphine did nothing but reflect on what to do next. The staging of her in her car thinking, in a café reading an edition of Calamity’s letters or in her hotel room at daybreak, permitted me in late August 2019 to construct Delphine’s interior monologue. In it, she figures out what to do next. Not giving up is what the film had to be about, as it was Delphine’s greatest strength.”

– Babette Mangolte
from “ The making of Calamity Jane & Delphine Seyrig: A Story”

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