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Cordelia Swann
The film The Citadel evokes both a homecoming and a coming of age for its banner-waving main character, who ends up, after her adventures in shining armour, in the nurturing presence and embrace of an older, maternal, symbolic figure of solace and redemption. It marks the beginning of a thematic journey in Swann's work about the relationship of women to war.

The Citadel (1991), the first of three films Swann made in 1992, marked a new stage of maturity in Swann's newly adopted autobiographical mode. It was also the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with Marek Budzynski as her editor and co-producer.

Centring on the story of a woman who continues her life and goes about her everyday business in the relative safety of London as the Gulf War rages thousands of miles away, the film is overtaken by it's sumptuous visuals of the city which manage to combine grandeur and the everyday. The underlying theme of danger and death is a grounding foil to the visual sumptuousness of the film and a contrast that can be found in a lot of Swann's work. The Citadel also consolidated Swann's use of the third person voice over which has appeared almost without exception in her films since. The clipped pre war British accent of the voice over provides the right amount of distance.

Still from The Citadel by Cordelia Swann, 1991
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