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Leading Ladies in European Film Series - Portrait of a Lady on Fire

27 March 2024, 18.15-21.30 (CET)
House of European History, Rue Belliard / Belliardstraat 135, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

On the occasion of International Women's Day 2024, the House of European History proudly presents three extraordinary and very different European films, written and directed by three leading ladies in genuine European cinema. The Czech director Věra Chytilová (1929-2014), the Belgian director Chantal Akerman (1950-2015) and the French director Céline Sciamma (1978), representing three generations of powerful and independent European filmmaking from the 1960s to today.

Each film will be introduced in English by film historian and film curator Wouter Hessels (RITCS & INSAS) and followed by a brief discussion and Q&A. Registration in advance is mandatory, the event is free of charge. Register for the movie.

We encourage you to join a guided tour at 18h15 in the permanent exhibition before the movie screening, focusing on women and their role in society. Book your guided tour.

  • Wednesday 27/3/2024
  • 19:00 - Portrait of a lady on fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu), Céline Sciamma
  • France, 2019, 122’, Original FR version, with EN subtitles


French director and screenwriter Céline Sciamma, also known for “Tomboy”, “Girlhood”, “Petite Maman”, turns the male gaze over its head to present its female version: a feminist tale of lesbian desire, aching romanticism and artistic collaboration. The result is a great romantic costume thriller, glistening with sumptuous images and two unforgettable actresses : Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant. Sciamma won the Award for Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm in Cannes.