Director: Woody Allen

107 minutes, U.S.A., 1986, Colour, 35mm

Returning once more to Manhattan and its environs, Allen made his most successful film of the 1980s with Hannah and Her Sisters, a beautifully constructed Chekhovian study of three sisters (Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest and Mia Farrow) who drift in and out of each other’s lives with increasingly disastrous consequences. Wandering between the developing stories of the sisters is Allen himself as a hypochondriac who samples all the different religions before turning to the Marx Brothers’ films as evidence that life is to be enjoyed.

Allen: ‘It’s an ensemble. I like those novels like Anna Karenina, where you get a little bit of somebody’s story and a little bit of somebody else’s and then somebody else’s and then back to the first person and back to the second. I like that format of ensemble and I wanted to experiment with it. And I’ve done it a few times since then.’

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