Memoirs of a Survivor 1981 ***


Doris Lessing’s brilliant books have rarely been the subject of major films; this 1981 drama featuring Julie Christie is one of the few examples of her work translated for cinema. D (Christie) lives in a bleak futuristic urban metropolis, where teenage gangs roam the streets; an opening credit reads ‘When Things Stopped’. D takes refuge in a council flat in the UK, where she forms a relationship with a young girl Emily (Leonie Mellinger). D also finds a membranous wall in her flat which allows her to explore and interact with people in Victorian times. Writer/director David Gladwell seems content to relay rather than challenge the semi-autobiographical obscurity in Lessing’s text, but the deep social concerns and Christie’s strong performance make it regrettable that more of Lessing’s work has not been filmed.


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