IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR DIAMOND CASTLE

16mm film transferred to High-Definition video, 2006
Estimated Running Time 13:30 minutes
Producer/ Director: Sabine Gruffat

The Marquis de Sade and his written word (culled from the philosophical diatribes permeating his letters and novels), combined with the critical dialogues of writers and scholars influenced by his work, together provide a heady scent infusing the thoughts and actions of three members of an upper class family whose summer home, nestled below the glowing hilltop fortress of the Marquis’ castle, is an elegant fortified Provencal estate amid a landscape of lavender fields and olive trees. Wandering the ruins of medieval fortresses and erstwhile chateaus, each character performs the different facets of Sade’s philosophy while undertaking all the intoxicating pleasures of privacy and affluence before retiring (sooner or later, and according to the laws of Nature), to their inevitable fate.

This film is meant to be viewed and understood on two levels: first as a narrative in which each character acts and reacts in relation to each other and their environment, and second, as a document of the different roles within family and relationship dynamics (in this case particularly a filmmaker/ daughter’s connection to her family). On both levels, the Marquis de Sade and his writing become the premise and language by which communication is intelligible dissolving the psychological and societal barriers of personhood and secrecy.

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