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The Ceremony

Lina Mannheimer
La cérémonie
Sweden 2014 / 75’

In 1984, Catherine Robbe-Grillet wrote Cérémonies de femmes, one of the first books to portray the BDSM community. She spent her entire life at the side of her husband, novelist and screenwriter Alain Robbe-Grillet (the writer of Last Year in Marienbad, among others), who was something of a glitterati. While her husband was thinking up a nouveau roman, Catherine, working under the pseudonym Jeanne de Berg, devoted herself to the art of eroticism, directing secret sadomasochistic ceremonies at their family castle. Her performances of suffering and love were purely art for the sake of art. Lina Mannheimer, the director of The Ceremony, has scrupulously reconstructed those ceremonies, having conducted interviews with the intriguing dominatrix and her devoted acolytes. They defy the stereotypes that suggest that BDSM is the result of childhood trauma or a playground for deviants. In an emotionally disciplined manner, Catherine and her circle talk about the expansion of their sensual and emotional experiences, a practice whose roots can be found in the literary works of de Sade, Sacher-Masoch, Bataille, and Catherine's former husband, Alain Robbe-Grillet.

Ewa Szabłowska

Lina Mannheimer

She first studied Art History in Madrid before moving on to study Economics in Stockholm. She also finished film school in Gothenburg. After completing fellowships in New York and London, she met French director Gilles Bourdos and spent a year working as his assistant. She started working on The Ceremony in 2009. It is her first feature film.

Filmography

2010 The Contract (short)

2010 The Five Senses (short)

2014 Ceremonia / La cérémonie / The Ceremony

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Cast & Crew

director Lina Mannheimer
screenplay Lina Mannheimer
cinematography Daniel Takács
editing Laureline Delom
music Jonas Colstrup
cast Catherine Robbe-Grillet, Beverly Charpentier, Dominique Corringer, Claude Helleu, Christian Hersant
producer Mathilde Dedye, Lina Mannheimer
production French Quarter Film
sales Swedish Film Institute
language French, English
colouration colour