EN - When doctors announced that the director’s 94-year-old mother had just weeks to live, everyone came to say a last goodbye. But she decided to remain alive for two more years. For her son, it was an incredible opportunity to create a film about life, full of humour and emotion…

NL - Op haar 94 jaar trotseert Diane temperamentvol de prognoses van haar artsen. De tijd die haar zoon, regisseur Sylvain Biegeleisen, met haar doorbrengt, is doortrokken van humor, grappige momenten en tederheid. In het aangezicht van de onzekerheid en het mysterie van het afwachten, praten moeder en zoon, lachen en dansen ze samen; deze gedeelde momenten grijpen aan door hun optimisme en sereniteit. Met 94 wil de moeder over het leven praten, niet over de dood. Een heldere getuigenis - boordevol hoop - over een manier om het levenseinde te benaderen. Een hulde ook aan de liefde tussen moeder en zoon.

FR - A 94 ans, Diane défie avec tempérament les pronostics des médecins. Son fils, le réalisateur Sylvain Biegeleisen, vient partager chez elle un quotidien empreint d’humour, d’esprit et de tendresse. Face à l’incertitude, au mystère de cette période d’attente, mère et fils discutent, chantent, rient, dansent ensemble ; des moments de partage saisissants par leur optimisme et leur sérénité. A 94 ans, c’est de la vie que veut parler la mère, et non de la mort. Un témoignage lumineux, plein d’espoir, sur la manière d’aborder la fin d’une vie. Un hommage aussi à l’amour entre une mère et son fils.


Title Twilight of a Life
Original title Au crépuscule d'une vie
Original language French/Dutch/Jiddisch
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Docs
Year 2015
World première / first public presentation 2015-04-16


Photography Sylvain Biegeleisen
Editing Joelle Alexis
Sound Michael Goorevich
Colorgrader Xavier Pique

Technical specs

Running time film 70' / 52' (TV)
Release format DCP
Other available formats ProRes file
Aspect ratio 16/9
Sound format surround 5.1 + stereo
Colour Colour and black-white
Available in 2D


Supported by The Rabinovich Foundation
Production partners Zen Productions
Tax shelter partners The Belgian Tax Shelter


2015: Festival Opening Film - Visions du Réel Nyon (CH), Docville (BE), DocAviv International Film Festival (IL), DOK.fest Müchen (DE), DokuFest Prizren (XK), Filmfestival Oostende (BE)


2015: Best Film Award - Docville (BE), Best Film Award - DocAviv International Film Festival (IL), The Fedeora Best Director Award - DocAviv International Film Festival (IL)


Channel 2 (Israel)

Short and Documentary Ensor nominations announced

Before the Last Curtain Falls, Twilight of a Life and Waiting for August are nominated for this year's Best Documentary Ensor Award. Nominations in the Best Short category went to Homeful Bliss, L'infini, The Pond, Oma, Paradise and Mechanical Waltz. The winners will be announced on at a gala closing the Ostend Film Festival on 19 September.

Trailer Twilight of a LifeBefore the Last Curtain Falls (Gardenia), Thomas Wallner portrays a group of ageing drag artists who set out, one last time, to relive their once glamorous lives by touring their play ‘Gardenia’ around Europe and Southeast Asia. Sylvain Biegeleisen's Twilight of a Life follows the final week's of his 94-year-old mother's life. It's a film about life, full of humour and emotion… In Waiting For August, Teodora Ana Mihai follows 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac who lives with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. While their mother is away earning a living in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.

Published on Monday 31 August 2015

Five Flemish selections for Visions du Réel

On April 17, Twilight of a Life by Sylvain Biegeleisen is to open the International Documentary Film Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland. The festival programme also includes Battles, The Rabbit and the Teasel and the short film On Difference As Such. A fifth documentary from Flanders, The Colour of the Chameleon, has been selected for the Pitching du Réel co-production platform. Visions du Réel runs from 17-25 April.

Twilight of a LifeTwilight of a Life is an upbeat portrait of a 94-year-old woman confronting the restrictions of her age, and the relationship she has with her son and the film’s director. Although doctors once gave her just weeks to live, she lived another two years. For her son, this became an opportunity to create a film about life, full of humour and emotion.

Published on Thursday 9 April 2015

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Last edited on 25 May 2018

Short info

Director Sylvain Biegeleisen
Producers Gregory Zalcman, Alon Knol
Writers Sylvain Biegeleisen

Take Five
Gregory Zalcman
Koningslaan 52
1060 Brussels
T +32 2 534 66 36
T +32 476 53 27 07


Catherine Le Clef
18, rue Quincampoix
75004 Paris
T +33 1 44 61 77 48

Website www.twilightofalife.com
Preferential partners