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Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Real, Self Portraits

Marie-Ève de Grave
Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Réal, autoportraits
Belgium 2016 / 74’

"Grisélidis Réal: writer, painter, prostitute." These three words best describe this fascinating European cultural figure of the second half of the 20th century. For many, Réal remains unknown despite being an artist and, above all, a kind of modern heroine, a diva. Grisélidis was born in 1929 in Lausanne. She spent her childhood in Athens and Alexandria and then lived in Geneva, Munich, and Paris. In the early 1960s, Grisélidis began working as a prostitute and, until publishing her first book in 1974, Black is a Colour, that is precisely how she earned a living. Opposed to the stereotype of being a victim, she fought for the rights of prostitutes to autonomy in the 1970s and claimed that prostitution was a revolutionary act. Marie-Ève de Grave's documentary is a portrait of Réal, an attempt to recreate her life story on the basis of archives collected over the years. The basis of the dialogue with Grisélidis can be found in the artist's correspondence with her friend Jean-Luc Hennig, as well as photographs of her lovers and a video recording. Grisélidis Réal died in 2005.

Joanna Ostrowska

Marie-Ève de Grave

Born in 1965, Marie-Ève de Grave is a director and screenwriter. She studied Architecture and Design. Previously, she completed a degree at film school in Brussels. This documentary about Grisélidis Réal is her full-length debut. She had previously directed several short films, including Waiting for Frank (2000) and Opale Plage (2010).

Selected filmography

2009 La promenade de Peter Aerts (short)

2010 Opale plage (short)

2013 Grand tour (short)

2016 Belle de nuit – prawdziwa Grisélidis, autoportret / Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Réal, autoportraits / Belle de nuit – Griseldis Real, Self Portraits (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Marie-Ève de Grave
screenplay Marie-Ève de Grave
cinematography Sebastien Koeppel, Jorge Piquer Rodriguez
editing Simon Arazi
music Pierre Avia
cast Grisélidis Réal
producer Françoise Hoste
production On Move Productions, RTBF Bruxelles
sales CBA
language French
colouration colour