5th October 2017 12.30pm at Vue West End
6th October 2017 9.00pm at Curzon Mayfair
A singer and actress with a unique tone of voice, Marianne Faithfull is once again appearing in a documentary of her life. This time, it is the project of Sandrine Bonnaire that showcases the events in the life of Faithfull, taking inspiration from the numerous biographies and memoirs the singer has written over the last two decades. The result is an hour-long journey of sentiment, delving so far into the past of the English songwriter that even she herself demands breaks from the process to compose herself.
Spanning from the early sixties, when a tender-aged Marianne first attended a Rolling Stones party, to the present day, where the singer is still embracing her love of performing, Faithfull searches the archives for raw footage of the artist, from interviews to newsreels. A combination of her interviews with Bonnaire and her live performances open a door for the audience to witness the real Marianne, displaying her comical personality along with the severity of her drug addiction. Very open to the topic, Faithfull explains how her loss of dignity actually made her the woman she is today, which she considers to be more than she ever was before, because she is finally happy.
The moving feature to this documentary is Faithfull’s pure openness to her past, whether it be considered shameful or not. It can be left to interpretation whether or not her drug addiction, that led to the abandonment of her family, is an act of selfishness or a woman in dire need of rescue, but what can certainly be admired is her ability to rebuild her career and be at peace with her demons that once were. What Sandrine Bonnaire achieves through this project is a sense of who the real Marianne Faithfull is and wants to be. It is a journey through time that gently probes the darkest hours of her life, and Bonnaire must be congratulated for ingeniously taking the layers off of a powerful personality. The intimate conversations between the two allow the audience to feel a part of the piece, echoing the questions on the screen. What can be concluded is that one questions over whether Marianne Faithfull regrets anything in her life. We can only speculate that answer, but judging from this documentary, the answer is not one damn bit!
Faithfull does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2017 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.