Anne Wiazemsky

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Anne Wiazemsky
Anne Wiazemsky in Il seme dell'uomo.png
Anne Wiazemsky in Il seme dell'uomo (1969).
Born(1947-05-14)14 May 1947
Died5 October 2017(2017-10-05) (aged 70)
OccupationActress, novelist
Years active1966–1988
(m. 1967; div. 1979)
RelativesFrançois Mauriac
(maternal grandfather)

Anne Wiazemsky (14 May 1947 – 5 October 2017)[1] was a French actress and novelist. She made her cinema debut at the age of 18, playing Marie, the lead character in Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), and went on to appear in several of Jean-Luc Godard's films, among them La Chinoise (1967), Week End (1967), and One Plus One (1968).

Through her mother, she was the granddaughter of novelist and dramatist François Mauriac.[2]

Early life[edit]

Wiazemsky was born on 14 May 1947 in Berlin, Germany.[3] Her father Yvan Wiazemsky, a French diplomat, was a Russian prince who had emigrated to France following the Russian Revolution.[4] Her mother Claire Mauriac was the daughter of François Mauriac, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.[3]

Wiazemsky spent her early years abroad following her father's postings around the world, including Geneva and Caracas before returning to Paris in 1962.[3][5] She graduated from the high school Ecole Sainte Marie de Passy in Paris.[3]



Wiazemsky made her on screen acting debut at the age of 18, playing Marie, the lead character in Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) after being introduced to the director by actress Florence Delay.[5] The film premièred at the 1966 Venice Film Festival where it won the OCIC (International Catholic Organization for Cinema) Award, the San Giorgio Prize, and the New Cinema Award.[6] It has since been listed by critics as one of the greatest films of all time.[7] Filmmaker and Cahiers du Cinéma critic Jean-Luc Godard wrote a glowing review for the film, writing that "everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished [...] because this film is really the world in an hour and a half."[8]

Wiazemsky subsequently developed a relationship with Godard, and married him one year later, in 1967.[9] She starred in several of his films, including La Chinoise (1967), Week End (1967), and One Plus One (1968).

In the 1980s, she began to turn to work behind the camera. In 1994, she co-wrote the script Go Home, which starred Claire Denis in 1960s France. She began to direct television documentaries.[10]


In addition to acting, Wiazemsky wrote several novels, including Canines (1993), Une Poignée de Gens (1998), and Aux Quatre Coins du Monde (2001). Hymnes à l'Amour was filmed in 2003 as Toutes ces belles promesses (All the Fine Promises), directed by Jean-Paul Civeyrac and starring Valérie Crunchant and Bulle Ogier. Her novel Jeune Fille (2007) was based on her experience of starring in Au Hasard Balthazar.

In 2015, she wrote the novel Un An Après (“One Year After”), which chronicled her time shooting Godard's film La Chinoise to when their relationship soured. It was developed into a feature film, Le Redoubtable, by The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius and Wiazemsky was played by Stacy Martin.[11][5][12]

Personal life[edit]

During the 1966 filming of Au Hasard Balthazar, director Robert Bresson proposed to her several times, though she refused.[13] In 1967, she married Jean-Luc Godard, and subsequently starred in several of his films; the marriage officially ended in divorce in 1979,[13] though the couple had separated as early as 1970.[14]

In 1971, Wiazemsky signed the Manifesto of the 343, which publicly declared she had an abortion as a way to advocate for reproductive rights, even though the procedure was illegal in France at the time.[10]


Wiazemsky died of breast cancer on 5 October 2017, aged 70.[13]


Actress (partial listing)[edit]

Year Title Role
1966 Au Hasard Balthazar Marie
1967 La Chinoise Veronique
Week End Une fille à la femme
1968 Teorema Odetta
Les Gauloises bleues L'infirmière
One + One Eve Democracy
1969 Il seme dell'uomo Dora
Pigsty Ida
1970 Wind from the East La révolutionnaire
1971 Raphael, or The Debauched One Diane
Vladimir et Rosa Ann
1972 Tout va bien Leftist woman
1973 The Train La fille-Mère
1973 George Who? George Sand
1974 La vérité sur l'imaginaire passion d'un inconnu Le christ-femme
1975 Die Auslieferung Nathalie Herzen
1976 Guerres civiles en France Elisabeth Dimitrieff
1978 Flesh Color La vendeuse
1979 L'enfant secret Elie
1980 Même les mômes ont du vague à l'âme La photographe
1983 Grenouilles Nora
1984 Rendez-vous L'administratrice
1988 Ville étrangère Stéphanie


  • 1989: Mon beau navire
  • 1991: Marimé
  • 1993: Canines
  • 1996: Hymnes à l'amour (1996 Prix Maurice Genevoix)
  • 1998: Une poignée de gens (1998 Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française) ISBN 2-07-074676-3
  • 2001: Aux quatre coins du monde
  • 2002: Sept garçons
  • 2004: Je m'appelle Elizabeth (Je m'appelle Élisabeth)
  • 2007: Jeune Fille ISBN 2-07-077409-0
  • 2009: Mon Enfant de Berlin
  • 2012: Une Année studieuse ISBN 978-2-07-045387-0
  • 2015: Un an après ISBN 978-2-07-013543-1
  • 2017: Un saint homme ISBN 978-2-07-010712-4
Short stories
  • 1988: Des filles bien élevées
  • 2003: Les Visiteurs du soir (illustrations by Stanislas Bouvier)
  • 1992: Album de famille
  • 2000: Il était une fois... les cafés (photographs by Roger-Viollet)
  • 2000: Tableaux de chats
  • 2001: Venise (photographs by Jean Noël de Soye)
  • 1994: En habillant


  1. ^ la romanciere et actrice Anne Wiazemsky est morte in Le monde
  2. ^ Mumford, Gwilym (5 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky, French actor, novelist and muse to Jean-Luc Godard, dies aged 70". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, Sam (5 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky, Film Star, Wife of Godard and Author, Dies at 70". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Anne Wiazemsky, actor, director and writer". The Irish Times. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Roberts, Sam (2017-10-05). "Anne Wiazemsky, Film Star, Wife of Godard and Author, Dies at 70". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  6. ^ "Robert Bresson : Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 18 January 2015. The San Giorgio Prize was given from 1956 through 1967 for "artistic works that had been considered especially important for the progress of civilization."
  7. ^ Christie, Ian (September 2012). "The 50 Greatest Films of All Time". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute (BFI).
  8. ^ Quandt, James (June 13, 2005). "Au hasard Balthazar : Robert Bresson". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  9. ^ "French Film Director Wed". The Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. July 25, 1967. p. IV-7. Retrieved June 20, 2022 – via
  10. ^ a b Williams, James S. (2017-10-10). "Anne Wiazemsky obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  11. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (2016-05-03). "Jean-Luc Godard biopic in works from director of The Artist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  12. ^ Brody, Richard (2018-04-19). "A Bio-Pic of Jean-Luc Godard and His Second Wife, Anne Wiazemsky, That Betrays Its Source Material". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  13. ^ a b c Shepherd, Jack (6 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky, author and muse to Jean Luc Goddard, dies aged 70". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-07. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  14. ^ Brody, Richard (7 October 2017). "Highlights from the Second Weekend of the New York Film Festival". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 October 2017.

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