Camille Claudel (1988): “..a social historical essence that is still important to women today..”.

Camille Claudel

“Naturally, I am a person who prefers to read books. It has been like that ever since I was a kid. Until I started watching films on this Belgian TV channel named Canvas. The movies I saw broadened my perspective. When I was 14 years old I saw the film Camille Claudel (1988). It tells the story of the French sculptor Camille Claudel (Isabelle Adjani) an impressive French sculptor, artist and a woman who is far ahead of her time. She lived in the 1900’s and she chose for herself. She didn’t care about what society thought what a woman could do and couldn’t do, which is why her mother did not fully support her, but her father did. The famous sculptor Auguste Rodin was impressed with her and hired her as his assistant. She began to sculpt for herself and for Rodin and she became his muse and even his mistress. That is when a shift occurs in the film. You notice how Rodin has taken everything from her. Her beauty, her emotions, her physique, her talent and he doesn’t give her any credit. It ends tragically because she ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Even though she tried to stay true to herself she became crazy because she shared all that she had with Rodin, but he never gave her anything back. That she chose for herself made a huge impression on me. To me that is feminism. I am so happy that I saw this film at such a young age. It contains a social historical essence that is still important to women today. I come from a culture where women rights are not taken for granted That is why I feel that I should embrace all opportunities. There are women who died for us to attain these rights and there are still women who aren’t able to enjoy these rights to the fullest, because they are restricted by religion, the country they live in or their culture. This needs to change.”

Photo and story by Feargal Agard

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