Screened as part of NZIFF 2022

Loving Highsmith 2022

Directed by Eva Vitija

Delving into Patricia Highsmith’s personal writings and accounts of friends and family, this doco sheds new light on the writer behind such classics as Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr Ripley and Carol.

Switzerland In English, French and German with English subtitles
83 minutes DCP


Director, Screenplay


Franziska Sonder, Maurizius Staerkle Drux


Siri Klug


Rebecca Trösch


Noël Akchoté


Annina Butterworth, Gwendoline Christie


Patricia Highsmith, Marijane Meaker, Monique Buffet, Tabea Blumenschein, Judy Coates, Courtney Coates-Blackman, Dan Coates


Sydney 2022


Drawing on Patricia Highsmith’s unpublished diaries and accounts from lovers and family, and laced through with archival material and excerpts from films based on her novels. Swiss director Eva Vitija evokes the tortured and troublesome personality and oeuvre of the great Texan novelist. From Hitchcock to Todd Haynes, Highsmith has continued to inspire illustrious filmmakers with anti-hero and alter ego Tom Ripley setting the bar for the psychopathic grifter with erudite tastes. — Sandra Reid

“The result of a long and meticulous investigation and weaving subtle links between the novelist’s work and her personal life, Loving Highsmith evokes with equal pleasure the recurring themes of the books (schizophrenia, guilt), the multiple loves in the New York of the 1950s and the successive exiles in Europe (England, Italy, France, Switzerland) of a woman who swore only by her freedom. An obsessive desire not to submit to the diktats of her time and to ‘good morals’ underlined by Patricia Highsmith’s female friends, lovers and accomplices who testify with modesty before Eva Vitija's camera. This captivating documentary, described by the filmmaker as a ‘loving biography’, is also, she explains, ‘a plea for the women of the Highsmith generation who fought for the right to live and love according to their true identity.’” — Olivier de Bruyn, Les Echos