Les mains négatives (Negative Hands)

Marguerite Duras

This video is no longer available

Marguerite Duras, Les mains négatives (Negative hands), 1978.

Festival Forum: International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2020 Les mains négatives (Negative Hands)
Marguerite Duras

13 Minutes

Festival Forum

Friday, May 8, 2020

e-flux and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen are pleased to present Marguerite Duras’s Les mains négatives, the second film in the joint series From My Window / From Your Window.

An uninterrupted traveling shot seen from the inside of a car. From the end of a night till dawn, from the Bastille to the Champs-Élysées—by way of the boulevard des Italiens, avenue de l’Opéra, and rue de Rivoli—a depopulated Paris offers itself to Marguerite Duras’ voice.

In Les mains négatives, Duras creates a literature beyond the book, where the boundary between fiction and documentation becomes obsolete. She deprives the photographic image of its documentary function in order to make visible in it something that never belonged to it, something unphotographed. Here, Duras represents a mystical view of history similar to Edmond Jabès’, who wrote that the entire memory of the world is contained in a grain of sand. It’s probably what Sartre did not understand about Freud: that the unconscious is not a past being. But that it is also not a fiction—it is real.

Return to International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2020
Return to Festival Forum

Marguerite Duras (1914–1996) was a French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and filmmaker. One of the most influential intellectual figures of her generation, she is the author of numerous works, among them the films Hiroshoma mon amour (writer; 1959) and India Song (writer and director; 1975), as well the novel L’Amant (The Lover, 1984) which was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.