Sunday, March 2, 2008

On this day

On March 3, ....
... 2008 (today), in Geneva, Switzerland, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations begins its 7th session, scheduled to run through March 28. Agenda's here; IntLawGrrls' prior posts on this body, established as a successor to the Human Rights Commission, are here. The new session is not cause for celebration in all corners; on the website of Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme may be found a bitter complaint entitled "L'ONU contre les Droits de l'Homme" ("The United Nations Against Human Rights"). Among the dozens of signatories are Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel and feminist philosopher Élisabeth Badinter (right).
... 1996, author and filmmaker Marguerite Duras died at her home in Paris, France. She'd been born 81 years earlier in Gia Dinh, a village near Saigon in what was then the French colony of Indochina and is now Vietnam, to parents who taught school in the French colonial service. Moving to France at age 18 in order to study law and political science, she eventually worked as a governmental secretary. After Nazi occupation of France she served in the Résistance alongside a future French President, François Mitterand. After the war she joined the French Communist Party. She began publishing her work in 1943. By the time of her death her oeuvre comprised "more than 70 novels, plays, screenplays and adaptations," including The Lover, an account of childhood in Indochina, and the elliptical screenplay Hiroshima, Mon Amour. (credit for 1950 photo)


Judith Weingarten said...

She's a more complicated figure than this suggests. While she joined the Resistance in 1943, she was also the mistress of a Gestapo agent , Charles Delval. She was a double agent, in fact, working for the Resistance. At the Liberation, she personally participated in torture sessions of Delval and others.

She joined the Communist party in 1944 and was expelled in 1950 for her too-independent spirit. She was close to the feminist movement in the 70's but not really part of it. Perhaps that, too, was too collective for her taste.

A good source for her history, rather than about her books and films (in French; the English version is very abridged) Interview with the historian and journalist Laure Adler

Diane Marie Amann said...

It's hard to encapsulate a life in a short paragraph, Judith. Many thanks for this enriching of her story.

Judith Weingarten said...

I wasn't suggesting that you could cover such a subject in a short note (and Happy Birthday Grrls!) but torture is not meant to be'enriching'.

It needs to be thought about ... why did this incredible woman direct torture and oversee it herself? There is more here for IntLawGrrls (and for me!) to confront.

Tougher than voting for Obama, I think. :-)

Diane Marie Amann said...

I meant "enriching" to mean giving a richer, more layered, more complex version of the story. Nothing more. Not the best word choice, but I missed the last sentence of your 1st paragraph on 1st read -- only saw it this time 'round.