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Daphne du Maurier

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Daphne du Maurier: sur les traces de Rebecca – documentary

The premiere of Daphne du Maurier: sur les traces de Rebecca, the new documentary about Daphne du Maurier, took place in Paris on the evening of 21st February and was a truly wonderful occasion.  Directed by Elisabeth Aubert Schlumberger, and produced by Patricia Houtart and Francois Duplat, this documentary brings a new and superb appreciation of Daphne and her life.  It is some time since anything substantial has been produced about Daphne for television and this documentary will certainly increase an understanding of and interest in Daphne and her work.






Photographs of the location of the premiere (c) Laura Varnam

Lady Tessa Montgomery of Alamein, Daphne’s elder daughter, took part in the making of the film and being bilingual was able to speak movingly about her mother in both French and English. 

Attending the premiere were a number of du Maurier experts who contributed to the narrative and had provided background information during the early stages of filming, last spring and summer. 

Tatiana de Rosnay, the celebrated author of ten novels, including the bestselling Sarah’s Key and now the biographer of Manderley Forever, the first biography of Daphne du Maurier to be published in France, is a lifelong devotee of Daphne du Maurier and brought her knowledge and enthusiasm to the film. 

Similarly, both Laura Varnam, academic and du Maurier expert, and Ann Willmore owner of Bookends of Fowey and du Maurier expert were delighted to be able to take part in this project and provided a great deal of background information to the film. 

In the late 1980s Piers Dudgeon worked with Daphne and her son Kits in the production on the book Enchanted Cornwall.  More recently he has written Captivated: J.M. Barrie, the du Mauriers and the Dark Side of Neverland and The Real Peter Pan: The Tragic Life of Michael Llewelyn Davies, both of which tell us a great deal about the du Maurier family, so he was an important contributor to the film.




The documentary will be shown on the Arte television channel in France on Sunday 26th February at 22.55pm, immediately after the showing of the classic film of Rebecca, starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.  It will also be shown on the Arte channel in Germany.

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