Correspondence from Juliette Binoche to Peter Brook, 1998

Scope and Content

Translated summary of letter from Juliette Binoche to Peter Brook, 11 August 1998

Juliette Binoche writes to Peter Brook to remind him of how much she wants to work with him. She muses on whether it is an infantile dream, an adolescent ambition or rather an adult desire and conviction of hers. She explains that she continues to insist because she greatly admires him, and feels a need to work with people that she admires because they push her to outdo herself.

Binoche notes that she has a few ideas as to plays or shows that they could work on together, but wonders whether Brook already has something in mind. She implores him to say yes to her request.

Translated summary of letter from Juliette Binoche to Peter Brook, 26 September 1998

Juliette Binoche writes that she is thrilled to hear about Peter Brook's idea for an upcoming film project. She expresses a longing to dedicate herself to working hard with a group and within a definite period of time. She assures Brook that she is prepared to make such a commitment.

Binoche describes the recreation of the intimacy of the Dialogues as a journey on which one reconnects with one's own intimacy. She describes, too, the film's need for humility (without bold slogans or grand phrases), simplicity (in showing scenes of daily life) and hope (lovingly conveyed) in order to succeed in its endeavour. Binoche refers to these qualities as her dream, her desire, her task. She sees Gitta as an anchor, whose liberation is gradually revealed. She embodies the link between 'the high and the low'.

Juliette Binoche encloses video and recording cassettes with her letter. These contain the results of her research on Gitta [Mallasz], which also includes a number of books bought at Fnac, and a further publication, Les Dialogues ou le Saut dans l'Inconnu (The Dialogues or The Leap into the Unknown) which she states she has ordered, and which is to arrive in a few days.

She recounts having spoken to Patrice [translator's note: Patrice Van Eersel wrote The White Well, a book that reconstructs the history of Gitta and three friends about whom Gitta Mallasz writes about in Talking with Angels/Dialogues avec l'Ange]. According to her, Patrice was glad to hear about the project in question. She tells Brook that she asked Patrice about survivors, and that he spoke of Agnes (who assisted Gitta, still lives in Budapest and was witness to the final Dialogues) and Eva (who survived Ravensbruck camp and witnessed Hanna's last moments), both of whom worked at the factory. Binoche notes that Patrice wrote about Eva in The White Well.

Finally, Binoche says that it seems to her inevitable that Peter Brook should make this film, seeing as it would require intelligence, passion and dignity. She writes that she will wait and pray; that she will receive both good and bad news with a smile on her face (though it would of course be larger if Brook's answer were a yes).