Possession (1981)

Surely other Zulawski movies like “La femme publique” and “L’important c’est d’aimer” have dark, disturbing moments, too, but “Possession” must be the most terrifying of them all. It all begins perfectly normal, like something that could happen every day, anywhere in your neighborhood: Anna (Adjani) leaves Mark (Sam Neill), she confesses she found a new lover already a year ago, and then the breaking up of their marriage naturally affects their little son, too. “I’m the maker of my own evil”, Anna says once, and the evil she creates is visualized literally as a slimy demon, whereas Mark “creates” a school teacher looking exactly like Anna (and also played by Adjani), a woman so pure and innocent they go to bed together without having sex, and of course the idealized woman immediately takes care of his son … and the dish washing ;-). The torment and hysteria of destroyed love is perfectly set in a Berlin before reunification, with the wall appearing countless times in the frame: an obvious symbol that divides what used to belong together, just like the characters in the movie. The “possessed” Adjani delivers an unforgettable performance, but if you are going to watch this, be prepared for more blood and guts than in “The Exorcist”.