The filmmaker, icon of the French “Nouvelle Vague”, died on Thursday in Geneva from Covid-19 at the age of 89. Nelly Kaplan was the director of the reknowned film “Pirate’s Fiancée”, but also distinguished herself as an ‘anarchofeminist’ writer.
According to one of her relatives, Nelly Kaplan had accompanied her companion, the French actor and producer Claude Makowski, to Geneva where he died in August of Parkinson’s disease.
She had since been in a rest home where she contracted Covid-19, which she died of.
Nelly Kaplan who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to a Russian-Jewish family, came to France at the age of 22.
She started her career in cinema with director Abel Gance with whom she collaborated for about ten years.
She became famous with La Fiancée du pirate, a film selected at the Venice Mostra in 1969, with Bernadette Lafon in the role of a free young woman who takes revenge on villagers who are hostile to her. The film, which was shown all over the world, became cult.
She made other films: “Papa, les petits bateaux…” (Daddy, the small boats) (1971) and “Charles and Lucie” (1976) as well as documentaries devoted to artists and celebrities such as Victor Hugo or Pablo Picasso.
Kaplan loved literature, particularly poetry, and became friends with several writers, including Philippe Soupault and André Breton.
She wrote erotic writings that had to face censorship. In 1974, she published under a pseudonym her novel “Mémoires d’une liseuse de draps”.