A middle-aged woman recounts the highs and lows of her life in a city apartment. This desolate tale of loneliness, problems with alcohol and men, and menopause unfolds under the mocking gaze of another woman: a previous tenant who looks upon the narrator’s suffering with sarcasm and moral zeal.
Their absurd confrontations make for a heart wrenching performance.
Directed by Henri Jules Julien, The Woman Who Dwelt in the House Before draws on Syrian poet Rasha Omran’s 2017 collection of the same name. An oratorio of three female voices brings her words to life: Omran performs her own poems in Arabic, while actress Nanda Mohammad performs the same poems in French. A third voice, played by improviser Isabelle Duthoit, sings in a wordless“language before language.”