In I'm Going Home, Portuguese writer and director Manoel de Oliveira told the touching story of a veteran actor slowly worn down by the losses in his life. The great French actor Michel Piccoli starred in the lead role. In this sequel to Luis Bunuel's 1967 Belle de Jour, Piccoli plays Henri Husson, a elderly roué with a twinkle in his eye and an addiction to whiskey. It has been 38 years since he bent over and whispered something into the ear of Pierre, the paraplegic husband of Severine (Catherine Deneuvre). Husson had discovered her in an exclusive brothel where she refused to have sex with him. As a family friend, did he reveal her secret to her husband or not?

For years, Husson has not been able to get her out of his mind or out of his dreams. He feels connected with her in some strange way. One evening while attending a concert in Paris, he spots Severine (Bulle Ogier) in the audience and all of his yearning for her comes to the surface. But she sees him and manages to escape without talking to him. He tracks her down to a hotel.

Meanwhile, Husson finds a bar and an attentive bartender who listens to his story about his memories of the past. Two prostitutes express their interest in him but he does no more than buy them some drinks. Husson finally encounters Severine in person and she agrees to have dinner with him.

Manoel de Oliveira has fashioned an elegant and clever drama in this sequel. Michel Piccoli shines in this examination of an old man's yearning and his obsession with the past. Whereas he has not changed much except for the wrinkles, Severine is a completely different person. She shocks him by admitting that she has thought of entering a convent. The wordless meal they share is oddly poignant, and the gift he has purchased for her is not appreciated.

Severine has come to find out what Husson said to her husband so long ago. You will have to see this movie to find out the answer. The sputtering candles provide a touching commentary on the fragility of life and its many mysteries which linger in the dark.

Special features on the DVD include: interview with the director; essay by Randal Johnson

Screened at the 44th New York Film Festival, Sept. 2006