The Long Absence

Watch The Long Absence

  • 1961
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 7.0  (931)

The Long Absence, released in 1961, is a French film directed by Henri Colpi. Set in a small village in Southern France, the movie follows the story of Thérèse, a woman who returns to her hometown after a long absence. Her mysterious arrival shocks the village and leads to various rumors and speculations. Alida Valli plays the role of Thérèse, a woman who left her husband and daughter years ago and never returned. She arrives in the town with a little girl who she introduces as her niece. Thérèse is looking for her daughter who she left behind years ago and wants to rekindle their relationship. But no one in the village knows why she left or why she has come back now.

The movie primarily focuses on the reactions of the villagers towards Thérèse's unexpected return. Georges Wilson plays the role of Barny, Thérèse's husband, who had presumed his wife had died. He is shocked and confused by her sudden re-appearance and is unsure how to deal with it. Barny's mother, played by Charles Blavette, is initially hostile towards Thérèse and accuses her of abandoning her family. But as the story unfolds, her attitude towards Thérèse softens, and she becomes sympathetic towards her cause.

The movie is primarily a study of human emotions, depicting the complex web of relationships in a small community. The film's pace is slow, allowing the viewer to absorb the characters' emotional states and follow their ideological conflicts. The Long Absence is an emotional story that explores themes of forgiveness, repentance, and the nature of love.

One of the most notable elements of the movie is the use of silence. The absence of dialogue between characters is used effectively to create a sense of tension and allow the viewer to follow the characters' gestures and movements. The camera pans slowly, capturing the picturesque scenery and the details of the characters' expressions.

The movie also uses flashbacks to fill in the backstory, creating a nuanced portrayal of the characters' motivations and deep-seated emotions. The use of flashbacks is not excessive and only appears when required, adding depth to the characters and the storyline.

The Long Absence is a technically sound film with a beautiful score that adds to the film's reflective mood. The movie was well-received upon its release and won the Palme d'Or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, cementing its place in film history. Alida Valli's portrayal of Thérèse is lauded as one of the finest performances by an actress in French cinema.

In conclusion, The Long Absence is a work of art that explores the human condition through the eyes of memorable characters. The film's slow pace and beautiful imagery are a testament to the director's skill in capturing the subtleties of human emotion. The story's themes of love, loss, and forgiveness are universal, making it a must-watch for cinema connoisseurs.

The Long Absence
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (931)