Past Event

Mauvais Genres Festival - The Lives of Thérèse by Sébastien Lifshitz

October 26, 2021
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Teachers College Columbia University, 525 W. 120 St., New York, NY 10027

Documentary, 60 minutes *In French with English subtitles

The screening will be followed by an in-person discussion with director Sébastien Lifshitz and Nora Philippe

Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. RSVP HERE

Thérèse Clerc was a famous French feminist activist who, after divorcing her husband, abandoned traditional domestic life and Catholicism. She provided clandestine abortions in the 1960s, opened a center against gender-based violence and, at the end of her life, founded an alternative women-only retirement home. Featured in Sébastien Lifshitz's cult film The Invisibles (2012), dedicated to elderly homosexual couples, Thérèse Clerc called Lifshitz in 2016 after receiving a cancer diagnosis, and asked him to film her during her last months of life. The formal sobriety of Les vies de Thérèse makes her radical wisdom all the more vibrant.

Sébastien Lifshitz is an award-winning French screenwriter and director. Born in 1968, Lifshitz has navigated between fiction films (Come UndoneWild Side and Going South) and documentaries, with a particular focus on identity quests, queer, gay and lesbian characters, as well as coming-of-age stories (Adolescentes, 2019). His work has received the most prestigious awards in France and has been featured in international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. In his life-long effort to document marginalized communities and sexualities, Lifshitz has collected an exceptional photographic archive that has been exhibited and published under the title Mauvais genre, to which the title of this film series pays tribute.


This event is featured as part of the film festival, Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender organized by the Columbia Maison Française and curated by Nora Philippe. Additional support is provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Contact Information

Maison Francaise