Sole cast member Catherine Samie plays a Jewish doctor locked up in an Ukrainian ghetto which is facing liquidation by the Nazis. Her last letter is being written to her son, who is safely out of harm's way, and in it, she tells him of her recent experiences and of her deep love for him. Seemingly simple, “The Last Letter' is actually deeply layered, with Samie's complex character going through myriad emotions as she ponders--and accepts--her mortality. Filmed in evocative black and white, often with close ups of Samie's face and hands and the ghostly shadows she casts behind her, “The Last Letter” is poignantly effective. Starring Catherine Samie. Directed and written by Frederick Wiseman. Produced by Frederick Wiseman and Pierre-Oliver Bardet. No distributor set. Drama. French-language; subtitled. Running time: 61 min.
The Last Letter (la Derniere Lettre)
The first fiction film by famed documentairan Frederick Wiseman (“Titicut Follies,” “Domestic Violence”) is not really a stretch for the talented filmmaker since it feels just as authentic as anything he's ever done. First staged by Wiseman with France's acclaimed Comedie-Francaise, it has now been brought to the screen with all its devastating power intact.