Joanna Hogg and Honor Swinton Byrne: ‘We should tell whatever stories we like’

The director of The Souvenir, an extraordinary autobiographical tale set in the 1980s, and Honor Swinton Byrne, who plays her, discuss the relationship with a mysterious older man at the heart of the film

“I tried to remember as much as possible,” says Joanna Hogg, the English writer and director, about her new autobiographical film, The Souvenir – her fourth feature. “I found it hard to give up on the illusion that I could remember everything.” She regrets the gaps, and yet the truth of her story may go beyond faithful record. It is about a relationship she had in the 80s, when she was in her 20s and at film school (she is 59 now), with a Cambridge-educated man (outstandingly played by Tom Burke) who claimed to work for the Foreign Office. He was arrogant, amusing, laconic. And – although not immediately apparent – vulnerable.

The film, with Martin Scorsese as one of its executive producers,
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