Mademoiselle de Chartres had a first heart-breaking experience : she has been deserted by fickle young man. One night , a friend of her mother's, Mrs Silva, the wife of the director of the Gulbenkian foundation, introduces her to a widely-reputed doctor, Jacques de cléves. He was smitten by Mademoiselle de Chartres from the moment he first saw both she and her mother choosing a necklace in a famous jewellery store in the palace vendôme. She accepts his marriage proposal, although feeling no passion for him. However, passion wil br stirred, despite her better instincts, by a fashionable singer, Pedro Abrunhosa...
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I immediately foresaw the difficulties involved in setting this story Madame de la fayette's era. At the same time, i thought , given that itis the drama of strong contrsts, if i recreated the conflict, setting it in a society as permissive as ours is today when it comes to love, the dramatic situations would be even deeper. The moral code controlling and thwarting love was anachronistic, and i thought it interesting to accentuare this by making Madame de Cléves' object of passion a pop singer and her confidant a anun who was once childhood friend. I was then overcome by the desire to accompany this sad, intimate story of passion with fragments of a social vision. They would show the disturbances that now rattle, with the same force as cruelties of pas times, this incorrigible world that we live in.
Manoel de Oliveira-Director, excerpt from the press folder.