50 Years of SIFF: Diva


France | 1982 | 117 min. | Jean-Jacques Beineix

November 25 - December 2, 2023

50 Years of SIFF

Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed all twist their way through an intricate and stylish French-language thriller that was a huge favorite at SIFF 1982. Presented on 35mm.

A young mail carrier, Jules (Frederic Andrei), becomes entranced with the voice of American diva Cynthia Hawkins (Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez). She doesn't believe in being recorded, but Jules secretly records her singing on a tape. His recording gets mixed up with another tape that incriminates a police chief, who is working with the mob. Jules quickly becomes the target of mob gangsters, and he must find a way to get himself out of the situation alive. The debut film of the SIFF Audience Award winner (IP5: The Island of the Pachyderms) Jean-Jacques Beineix, Diva was the winner of four Cesar Awards. Despite its cool reception in France, it became a cult classic gaining international acclaim on its US release in 1981, and a new generation of supporters on the 2007 re-release.

  • Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
  • Principal Cast: Frédéric Andréi, Roland Bertin, Richard Bohringer, Gérard Darmon, Chantal Deruaz
  • Country: France
  • Year: 1982
  • Running Time: 117 min.
  • Producer: Irène Silberman
  • Screenplay: Jean-Jacques Beineix, Jean Vann Hamme
  • Cinematographers: Philippe Rouselot
  • Editors: Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte
  • Music: Vladimit Cosma
  • Filmography: Mortal Transfer (2001), Otaku (1994), IP5: The Island of Pachyderms (1992), Betty Blue (1986), The Moon in the Gutter (1983), Diva (1982)
  • Language: French
  • Format: 35mm
  • US Distributor: Rialto Pictures