1981, Andrzej Zulawski, France/West Germany

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Producer: Marie-Laure Reyre
Screenplay: Andrzej Zulawski
Cinematography: Bruno Nuytten
Editors: Marie-Sophie Dubus,
  Suzanne Lang-Willar
Music: Andrzej Korzynski
Isabelle Adjani (Anna / Helen)
Sam Neill (Mark)
Margit Carstensen (Margit Gluckmeister)
Heinz Bennent (Heinrich)
Johanna Hofer (Heinrich’s Mother)
Carl Duering (Detective)
Shaun Lawton (Zimmermann)


Rating: R18 Sex scenes Runtime: 124 minutes
Content note: Domestic violence, suicide, self harm, bloody violence

Not for the faint of heart, Possession is an intense and powerful psychological horror film that takes us to some shocking and uncanny places. Isabelle Adjani’s performance as Anna is one of the strongest in the genre. The film was banned for a time in the United Kingdom as part of the “Video Nasties” moral panic of the 1980s.

Anna and Mark (Sir Sam Neill) are a married couple living in West Berlin with a young son, Bob. Mark, a spy, returns from a mission to find that Anna wants a divorce. She is acting strange, disappearing for periods of time. Mark becomes increasingly angry and violent. Something is clearly wrong but the reality of the situation will shock everyone.

Possession is a favourite amongst horror fans, often compared to the work of David Lynch and David Cronenberg. It contains incredible images of horror and an atmosphere of dread and uncertainty. Dealing with themes of control, jealousy, and the rich motif in literature of the doppelganger, the strong performances keep us engaged in this story that less capably handled, could fall into hysterical absurdity.

“To watch Possession again is to realise that it remains one of the most gruelling, powerful, and overwhelmingly intense cinematic experiences that you are likely to have in your lifetime.”
– Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com


Nov 04 2024


6:15 pm - 8:20 pm