A rare narrative work from legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman explores the fractious relationship between the literary couple Leo and Sophia Tolstoy.
The Tolstoys were married for 36 years, had 13 children and each kept a diary, alongside constant correspondence with each other through letters – all while living in the same house. Wiseman, the great chronicler of institutions, here looks unflinchingly at the institution of marriage. Through a searing monologue, drawn from the diaries and letters of the Tolstoys, Sophia (played brilliantly by Nathalie Boutefeu) describes a tumultuous marriage to the mercurial War and Peace
author – one of great sadness and intense passion. Shot on the beautiful, flower-filled Belle Île, an island off the coast of Brittany, the mesmerising A Couple
shows that the 93-year-old maestro (the subject of SFF's 2022 retrospective) still has something exceptional up his sleeve.