Mathilde is the name of the tragic heroine of Truffaut’s film La Femme d’à Côté, 1980, whose love for an older man ends in death. Also the leading female characters in Jean-Claude Briseau’s Noce Blanche, 1990, and Patrice Leconte’s Le Mari de la Coiffeuse, 1991, are named Mathilde and broken by their romantic attachments. Rather than falling victim to a disillusioning reality, the women find their escape in suicide. Mathilde ter Heijne takes these stories of self-sacrifice for an utopian ideal of love. Can fate be linked to a name? She mixes original sound extracts from the three films with video scenes in which she herself assumes the role of the tragic heroine. Using a special effects dummy, Mathilde ter Heijne depicts her death leap from the bridge and the struggle with her “alter ego.” The location for the short drama is Amsterdam where the artist used to live and work.
Mathilde ter Heijne, DE 1999, 5 min