by Nathalie Azoulai
What is a family photograph? An image that shows the blood ties, family resemblances and harmony that carry on through the generations. The opposite, in fact, to this image from 1972 French film César et Rosalie in which, apart from Rosalie (Romy Schneider) and her little daughter, no one is linked by blood. On top of which, Rosalie loves the two men, César (Yves Montand) and David (Sami Frey), neither of whom is the father of her child. David smiles despite the sheer quantity of umbrellas that seem to say that he needs protecting not only from a leaden sky, but also a deluge of questions. Rosalie is the only person looking at the camera; serious, thoughtful and solitary, she seems to be saying, Where am I? Who am I? With whom?
It’s a heartbreaking image, one that encapsulates the suffering of love, as well as the changing nature of family and extreme solitude.