This 1985 film spins off Katherine Mansfield's request to her husband John Middleton Murry, to burn "as much as possible" of her letters and writing after her death. Three decades later Murry (Sir John Gielgud) is still haunted by Mansfield, as he works on a collection of her work. Brit Jane Birkin plays both Mansfield, and a Kiwi expat who reminds Murry of his ex lover. Initially charmed, she grows annoyed at Murry's narrow-minded view of Mansfield. John Reid took over directing two weeks before shooting began in France. Variety rated the Pacific Films drama nuanced and intelligent.
We are both abnormal. I have too much vitality and you have not enough.– The real life Katherine Mansfield, to John Middleton Murry
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata
Includes excerpts from opera La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi