Die linkshändige Frau (The Left-Handed Woman). 1978. West Germany. Written and directed by Peter Handke. In German; English subtitles. 119 min.
Produced by Wim Wenders. With Edith Clever, Bruno Ganz, Michel Lonsdale, Angela Winkler. Writer-director Handke and producer Wenders present a new digital restoration of this exquisite—and little seen—film of the 1970s. A married woman living in the suburbs of Paris separates from her husband and begins adjusting to a life alone. She translates Flaubert, putters around the kitchen, picks up her father from the train station, and hikes with her son. As the banal particulars of her daily routine proceed in a rigorously poetic fashion, every spoken word and gesture feels deliberate and momentous. With its austere compositions, minimal camera movement, and delicately restrained performances by Edith Clever and Bruno Ganz, The Left-Handed Woman is a powerful meditation on autonomy, self-preservation, and liberation. Handke cited Chantal Akerman as a key influence when the film premiered at Cannes, though the family dramas of Yasujiro Ozu seem equally apt.