Nelly Kaplan, director of The Pirate’s Bride (1969), anarcho-feminist writer and icon of the New Wave, died Thursday morning of Covid-19 at the age of 89 in a hospital in Geneva, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned from her entourage.
According to one of his relatives, François Martinet, who had interviewed him at length for the Cinema Notebooks, Nelly Kaplan had accompanied his companion, actor and producer Claude Makowski to Geneva, where he died in August of Parkinson’s disease.
She had since been in a nursing home where she contracted Covid-19, from which she died.
“La Fiancée du pirate”, a cult film
Nelly Kaplan, originally from a family of Russian Jews, who came to France from Buenos Aires at the age of 22, had made his film debut with director Abel Gance. She was to collaborate with him for ten years.
Nelly Kaplan loved literature and especially poetry, and bonded with several writers, including Philippe Soupault and André Breton. She had written erotic writings that had to face censorship. In 1974, she published under pseudonym her novel Memories of a bed sheet reader.
She made herself known by The Pirate’s Bride, selected at the Venice Film Festival in 1969, with Bernadette Laffont in the role of a free young woman who takes revenge on villagers who are hostile to her. The film, shown around the world, has become cult.
She has made other films: Dad, the small boats … (1971), Néa (1976), Charles and Lucie (1979), Velvet legs (1985), Pleasing love (1990), as well as documentaries devoted to artists (Gustave Moreau, Abel Gance, André Masson, Victor Hugo, Pablo Picasso, etc.).