log in / register

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Céline Sciamma
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu
France 2019 / 119’
Parasite The Souvenir

Winner of the Best Script Award in Cannes and the Queer Palm, Céline Sciamma's melodrama paints 1760 Brittany in the colors of the most modern desires and emotions. These are expressed by the aristocratic Heloiza who is being readied for an arranged marriage and her emancipated portraitist, Marianna. The intimate bond that unexpectedly arises between the two becomes a powerful force, capable of shattering many a taboo. Sciamma's intimate, elegant film resembles a white canvas, from which an image gradually emerges saturated with all shades of emotions, complicated dependencies and explosive feelings. The director sets together women of different generations and classes, allowing each of them, even for a moment, to leave their imposed role. This tale of an intense and succulent moment captured on canvas and in memories is about love and women ahead of their time, but also a tribute to all invisible artists whose work has been effectively silenced by the canon of art for centuries. Inspired by painting (audiences will find an ingenious reference to the famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich), Sciamma's subtle and fiery film is a paean to a woman's gaze and its impressive visual manifesto.

Małgorzata Sadowska


Cannes IFF 2019 – Best Screenplay, Queer Palm

Céline Sciamma

Born in 1978, Céline Sciamma is a French director, screenwriter, and member of the board of SFR (Société des réalisateurs de films). A graduate of La Fémis, a major film school in Paris, where she studied under the supervision of Xavier Beauvois. She wrote the screenplay adaptation of the animated My Life as a Zucchini directed by Claude Barras and co-wrote Being 17 withAndré Téchiné. She made her debut in 2007 with Water Lilies, which screened in the Cannes Un Certain Regard section. Tomboy showed at Berlin Panorama, and Girlhood at Cannes. Debuting in the main festival competition in Cannes, Portrait of a Lady on Fire won the Best Screenplay Award and the Queer Palm. Céline Sciamma was one of the initiators of the women's protest at the Cannes Festival in 2018, which sought equal opportunities for women and men in the film industry. 


2007 Lilie wodne / Naissance des pieuvres / Water Lilies

2010 Pauline (short)

2011 Chłopczyca / Tomboy

2014  Dziewczyny z bandy / Bande de filles / Girlhood

2019 Portret kobiety w ogniu / Portrait de la jeune fille en feu / Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Cast & Crew

director Céline Sciamma
screenplay Céline Sciamma
cinematography Claire Mathon
editing Julien Lacheray
music Jean-Baptiste de Laubier, Arthur Simonini
cast Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino
producer Véronique Cayla, Bénédicte Couvreur
production Lilies Films
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language French, Italian
colouration colour