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Balzac - A Life for Passion

 
Title: Balzac - A Life for Passion
Original title: Balzac - A Life for Passion
Format: 2 x two hours
Starring: Gérard Depardieu
Jeanne Moreau
Fanny Ardant
Gert Voss
Virna Lisi
Directed by: Josée Dayan
Produced by: Produced by GMT for TF1, Mediaset and SAT.1
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Part 1 
 
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Part 2 

Balzac - A Life for Passion

He burned with ambition. He lusted for life. He lived for passion.

"All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual." (Honoré de Balzac, 1799-1850). "Balzac - A Life for Passion" is the sprawling saga of Honoré de Balzac (Gérard Depardieu), a man who created a monumental literary oeuvre from the dramas and adventures of his own life - a life that he shaped into one spectacular and unforgettable blaze of passion.
At the heart of the story are the women in Balzac's life. Although gruff, unsophisticated, and far from handsome, Balzac exerts an irresistible fascination on women. On Madame de Berny (Virna Lisi), for example, the older woman who loves him for himself and dies of a broken heart when he takes another mistress. Or Laure d'Abrantès (Katja Riemann), the worldly but penniless countess, an adventuress whom Balzac sees as his ticket to respectability and acceptance by the Paris salons.
But the two women who leave the most profound traces on Balzac's life are his mother Charlotte-Laure (Jeanne Moreau) and Eve Hanska (Fanny Ardant), the love of his life. Cold, manipulating and imperious, Charlotte-Laure was never able to give her son the love he wanted. Yet it is she who watches over him and is with him at the hour of his death, when she finds the courage to ask him for forgiveness.
Balzac's one great love, however, is Eve Hanska, a ravishing beauty whom he follows to Switzerland, Prague and St. Petersburg in a tireless crusade to win her heart. Eve, a married woman, admires above all the writer in Balzac but also succumbs to his magnetic appeal. Their tormented relationship marks the final years of Balzac's life, for by the time they can finally marry, his excessive, dissolute lifestyle is about to claim its due...