Confessions To The Mirror

Amidst a visual extravaganza of costumes and hand-made sets, Sarah Pucill’s new film Confessions To The Mirror takes its title, from the French Surrealist artist, Claude Cahun’s (1894-1954) incomplete memoir (Confidences au miroir, 1945-1954). Following Cahun’s text, the film includes Cahun’s early and later life and work including her political propaganda activity and imprisonment in Jersey with her partner Suzanne Malherbe during the Nazi occupation of the island. The tracing of a life is made conscious through the projection of images of the couples home in Jersey into a domestic London setting.

As a sequel to Pucill’s previous film, Magic Mirror (16mm, b/w, 75min, 2013), Confessions To The Mirror (16m, col, 68min) continues Pucill’s experiment to bring cinematic life to the photographic and written archive of Claude Cahun. In her new film Pucill animates re-stagings of Cahun’s black and white self-portrait and still–life photographs with voices from Cahun’s text Confidences au miror, thus collaging and transposing Cahun’s black and white stills and words, into colour and soundscape.

  • Sarah Pucill, Director, Camera and Edit
    Director
  • Sarah Pucill, Abridged and translated into English from original in french
    Writer
  • Claude Cahun (1894-1954), original text Confidences au miroir (1945-1952)
    Writer
  • Sarah Pucill
    Producer
    Magic Mirror (2013, bw, 16mm) Premiere Tate Modern
  • Kate Hart, Karen Le Roy Harris
    Key Cast
  • Mairead MacClean
    Sound Design
    Sound Design, Magic Mirror by Sarah Pucill
  • Fiona Teo Rui Wen
    LIghting and Second Camera
  • Jessica Cheetham
    Costume
    Magic Mirror, by Sarah Pucill
  • Jessica Cheetham
    Make UKp
  • Katie Campbell
    Make UKp
  • Caroline Saint Pe
    Voices
  • Louise Larchbourne
    Voices
  • Lucy Briggs-Owen
    Voices
  • Konrad Wälz
    Sound Mix and On-line Edit
    Magic Mirror, by Sarah Pucill
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Other
  • Genres:
    Experimental
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm film
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • London Film Festival Premiere October 2016
    London
    October 9, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival,
    Haiwick
    United Kingdom
    March 3, 2017
    Scottish Premiere
  • Creteil Women's International Film Festival
    Paris
    France
    March 16, 2017
    French Premiere
  • National Portrait Gallery, London
    London
    United Kingdom
    March 17, 2017
  • CloseUp Cinema
    London
    United Kingdom
    February 19, 2017
  • White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey, August 2017
  • Scottish Queer International Film Festival, Glasgow, Sept 2017
  • Photofilm: Sampling the Archiv, Budapest, 15th November, 2017
    Budapest
    Hungary
    November 15, 2017
    Hungary Premier
  • Experimental FIlm Forum LA, honorable mention 2017
  • Bagdam Festival Toulouse
    Toulouse
    France
    April 12, 2018
  • UCL Art Museum, London
    London
    United Kingdom
    May 22, 2018
    UCL Art Museum Curated Screening
  • Cinematek Oslo
    Oslo
    Norway
    June 11, 2017
    Scandinavia Premiere
    in 'The Dream That Kicks' artist film programme
  • Dortmund International Women's Film Festival
    Dortmund
    Germany
    April 12, 2019
    German Premiere
  • Ottawa Art Gallery
    Ottawa
    Canada
    November 28, 2021
    Canadian Premiere
  • LUX London Screening Launch of Blu Ray
    London
    United Kingdom
    April 12, 2021
  • Cobra Museum Staged Exhibition 15Oct 2020-17Jan 2021
    Amsterdam
    Netherlands
    October 15, 2020
  • BEEF Bristol Experimental Film
    Bristol
    United Kingdom
    February 20, 2018
    Bristol Premiere
  • Bagdam Toulouse Printemps Fesstival
    Toulouse
    France
    May 22, 2018
    Toulouse premiere
  • Toronto Women Film Festival November 2022
Distribution Information
  • LUX
    Country: United Kingdom
Director Biography - Sarah Pucill, Director, Camera and Edit

Sarah Pucill has been making 16mm short films that have received public funding since completing her MA at the Slade in 1990. Her films have been shown in galleries and museums won awards at Festivals internationally. The majority of her films take place within the confinements of domestic space, where the grounded reality of the house itself becomes a portal to a complex and multi layered psychical realm. In her explorations of the animate and inanimate, her work probes a journey between mirror and surface, in which questions of representation are negotiated. At the heart of much of the work is a concern with the image as a still, whether literally or symbolically. Relationships between self and other turn into a concern of relationships between women, mostly mother or lover.

Sarah Pucill lives and works in London, she has a doctorate and is Reader at University of Westminster. Her work is archived and distributed through leading international distributors including LUX.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Confessions To The Mirror is the second part of a diptych on the work of the artist Claude Cahune. Her first feature length film Magic Mirror (75min, b/w, 2013), which premiered at Tate Modern extends Pucills concern with the animation of a still image as well as her focus on relationships between women by paying homage to Claude Cahun through the transposition of Cahuns images and words into film. Magic Mirror re-stages and animates many of Cahun’s photographs on 16mm black and white film, bringing movement and a chorus of voices to Cahuns writing from Aveux Non Avenus (Confessions Denied 1930). The film was screened at ICA, London Art Fair, Birkbeck Cinema, and toured internationally with LUX. A LUX DVD was published Autumn 2014. The film was staged as an exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery May and June 2015 alongside photographs from the film as well as by Claude Cahun.

Following Pucill’s commitment to bring the images and voice of Cahun and her partner’s collaborative work into the present as film, a second feature length film also shot on celluloid, Confessions To The Mirror (68min) this time in colour premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2016. The film focuses on Cahun’s lesser known still life images and her post-humously published incomplete text Confidences au miroir (1945-52), which covers aspects of her childhood and Cahun and her partner Suzanne Malherbe’s political activity and imprisonment in Jersey during World War II. The domestic space and art objects made within the film reflexively feature on screen in ways that cut between both Cahun and the filmmakers legacy of work. These objects are also staged as part of the ‘Evidence for Conviction’, at the couples trial which become indistinguishable from their artwork.