Written by Filipa Henriques.

Seventeen is the number of films starring the eternal muse Anna Karina programmed at IndieLisboa International Film Festival. As one of the greatest French Nouvelle Vague faces, it’s strange to see that the years have passed by through her, but she still keeps her trademark haircut and her eyes are still full of youth. 

We were in the early 60’s when Karina moved from Denmark to Paris, where she started modelling for advertising - and this was how Jean-Luc Godard first saw her (see here). When she first refused a small part in A Bout de Souffle, she was far from knowing that the director was going to change her path forever. 


Le Petit Soldat was the first film she made with Godard and it’s still one of the most iconic films made by the couple. The way Karina and Godard changed the way of doing and understanding cinema, working together with structure, spontaneity and love, is still very present in everyone's mind when thinking about the French Nouvelle Vague. 

When cinema meets life so closely, it’s easy to understand the personal growth of the director and the actress through films. If in Vivre Sa Vie and Bande à Part we get to know a vulnerable, emotional and naive Karina, in Alphaville and Pierrot le Fou we see a much more enigmatic woman, reflecting the way their relationship changed each other - how their nights changed their days in the quest for knowledge. 

She is an actress, model, singer and also a director: Vivre Ensemble, the feature directed by Karina in 1973, is also an important part of this Independent Hero program. Karina's talent is present not only in Godard films, but also in the work of Jacques Rivette, Pierre Koralnik, Fassbinder, Luchino Visconti among others, a long list we can watch between the 2nd and the 13th of May at IndieLisboa. 

If it’s important to celebrate the work of those who already passed away, it’s even more beautiful to celebrate the talent of the ones that are still with us. In the year we lost and celebrate Agnés Varda, we should keep celebrating the women that changed and influenced not only the French Nouvelle Vague but the way we see and create cinema nowadays and in the years to come. 

List of films:

  • - Alphaville - Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy, fic., 1965, 99′;

  • - Anna - Pierre Koralnik, France, fic., 1967, 87′;

  • - Bande à part/Band of Outsiders - Jean-Luc Godard, France, fic., 1964, 95′;

    - Chinesisches Roulette/Chinese Roulette - Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany/France, fic., 1976, 86′;

    - Haut, bas, fragile/Up, Down, Fragile - Jacques Rivette, France/Switzerland, fic., 1995, 169’;

    - Justine - George Cukor, USA, fic., 1969, 116’;

    - Made in USA - Jean-Luc Godard, France, fic., 1966, 90’;

    - Michael Kohlhaas, der rebell/Man on Horseback - Volker Schlöndorff , Germany, fic., 1969, 99’;

    - Le petit soldat/The Little Soldier - Jean-Luc Godard, France, fic., 1963, 88’;

    - Pierrot le fou - Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy, fic., 1965, 110’;

    - La religieuse/The Nun - Jacques Rivette, France, fic., 1966, 140’;

    - Le soldatesse/The Camp Followers - Valerio Zurlini, Italy/France/Germany/, fic., 1965, 120’;

    - Lo straniero/The Stranger - Luchino Visconti, Italy/France/Argelia, fic., 1967, 104’;

    - Treasure Island - Raoul Ruiz, Reino Unido/França/EUA, fic., 1985, 115’ ;

    - Une femme est une femme/A Woman is a Woman - Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy, fic., 1961, 85’; 

    - Vivre ensemble/Living Together - Anna Karina, France, fic., 1973, 92’; 

    - Vivre sa vie/My Life to Live - Jean-Luc Godard, France, fic., 1962, 83’.

Filipa Henriques works at Portugal Film - Portuguese Film Agency, an institution for the advancement and widespread reach of Portuguese independent cinema. Her studies started in the North of Portugal at Universidade do Minho and continued onto a semester in France's Paris Descartes and a masters' degree in Lisbon's Nova FCSH. After interning at the world renowned film festival IndieLisboa and the documentary film oriented Apordoc - Associação pelo Documentário, she started work at Portugal Film three years ago. She is now completing her studies with a second masters' degree at ISCTE on the Arts' Markets and recently started to collaborate with the IndieMusic selection committee at IndieLisboa. 

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