A Sacred Death

Floral suffocation is rarely an idyllic notion, except in the hands of one of literature’s greats.

Emile Zola, the 19th century French writer, poet, and journalist, created just such a death in his 1975 novel The Sinful Priest, a story in which an amnesiac priest is nursed back to health by a young maiden, Albine. The two slowly fall in love and consummate their relationship—but then the priest’s memory is returned to him, and he flees, horrified by how he has broken his sacred vows.

This leaves Albine devastated and heartbroken… and this is where the modern, short film “The Death of Albine” picks up the hallowed tale. Created by renowned British artist Rebecca Louise Law—who is known for her elaborate installations of fresh and dried flowers—in partnership with Forward Films and award-winning director Mike Sharpe, the film beautifully creates Albine’s plot to end her life, by surrounding herself with flowers until their perfume steals her breath, bringing her to her glorious end. A beautiful, and tragic, passage, befitting a Zola heroine.