Ruiz had a longstanding interest in Racine, whose work he planned in at least one instance to direct for the stage. (He even toyed, according to the critic Olivier Churchod, with the idea of filming the great French playwright’s complete works on Super 8.) His imagination was particularly ignited by this 1670 tragedy about a Roman emperor who bends to popular will and declines to marry the Palestinian queen he loves. When he filmed it, it was with his usual lush, baroque textures but also, as Churchod points out, with a kind of ghostly insubstantiality, as if the characters were disembodied spirits re-enacting a drama they’d already lived out. One of the director’s straighter adaptations, Bérénice was also one of several Ruiz movies that seem to take place in a borderland between life and death. Restored by François Ede for La Cinémathèque française with the support from Ina.