The Strange Case of Delphina Potocka

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In this unusual period drama from 1999, classical music expert and filmmaker Tony Palmer delves into the final years of Polish-born Romantic composer Frédéric François Chopin to unearth a compelling and tragic love story that developed between Chopin and Delfina Potocka, a Polish countess who served as the great musician's muse. Chopin and Potocka's voluminous exchanged correspondence radiated passion, but Palmer argues that their relationship created sad ripple effects years into the future, including the mysterious death (and possible suicide) of Potocka's granddaughter, Paulina Czerina. She apparently knew of Chopin's almost obsessive interest in her grandmother from her own possession of the letters, and found this knowledge too difficult to bear. In lieu of merely quoting or excerpting the letters, Palmer works the events referenced in them into individual scenes and uses those scenes to draw events from the last few years of Chopin's life.


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