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Film
SPOTLIGHT NARRATIVE

MARY SHELLEY

Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour
FEATURE NARRATIVE 120 Minutes US Premiere
FILM GUIDE MARY SHELLEY
Raised by her kindly bookseller father and tormented by a villainous stepmother, young Mary Wollstonecraft (Elle Fanning) longs for a life bigger than her sheltered upbringing. As she embarks on a whirlwind romance with the charismatic but mercurial poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth), Mary’s dreams of a sophisticated life among the intellectual elite seem to be within her grasp at last—but this fantasy quickly dissipates when she realizes the harsh reality of her new husband’s moody and dissolute ways. That is, until one stormy night, when a friendly challenge among a rained-in cadre of Romantic writers leads her to invent one of the most iconic horror stories of all time, before she’s even 20 years old.

Saudi female filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour (Wadjda) returns to Tribeca with this lush portrait of the author of one of Gothic literature’s most influential stories. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s enduring work, has remained a seminal story of creation and destruction, but al-Mansour’s film goes deeper, to depict the fraught tale of a teenage girl’s shattered romantic dreams that brought a monster to life.

—Liza Domnitz
Drama, Female Director(s), Female Screenwriter(s)
About the Director(s)
As the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, Haifaa al-Mansour is regarded among the country’s most significant cinematic figures. In her home country, her work has been both praised and vilified for breaching the wall of silence around the sequestered lives of Saudi women. Wadjda, al-Mansour’s feature debut, received wide critical acclaim after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 2012 and established Al Mansour as an important talent emerging from the Arab world.

Film Info
Cast & Credits
  • Director:
    Haifaa Al Mansour
  • Producer:
    Amy Baer, Alan Moloney, Ruth Coady
  • Screenwriter:
    Emma Jensen
  • Cinematographer:
    David Ungaro
  • Editor:
    Alex Mackie, A.C.E.
  • Composer:
    Music by Amelia Warner
  • Executive Producer:
    Johanna Hogan, Peter Watson, Matthew Baker, Isabel Davis, Charles Auty, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Emma Jensen, Joannie Burstein, Rebecca Miller, Mark Amin
  • US Distributor:
    IFC Films
  • Cast:
    Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Joanne Froggatt, Tom Sturridge, Maisie Williams

Contacts

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