The Little Match Girl
(La petite marchande d’allumettes)

Live piano accompaniment by Peter Freisinger
Screening on Film
Directed by Jean Renoir.
With Catherine Hessling, Manuel Raaby, Jean Storm.
France, 1928, 35mm, black & white, 40 min.
French language version.

Using the story by Hans Christian Andersen, Renoir makes skillful use of sharp and soft focus to portray the sordid reality of the little match girl (Hessling) in direct juxtaposition with the clarity of her fantasies. A sentimental but complex contemplation of the relationship between art and society.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: A–Z