The diva of the title is a famous black opera singer (Wilhelmina Wiggins-Fernandez) who steadfastly refuses to be recorded. The singer is idolized by young French mail-carrier Jules (Frederic Andrei), who sneaks a tape recorder into the theater and records her performance. This is witnessed by a pair of Taiwanese criminals, who unlike Andrei wish to profit from the bootlegged recording. They begin to pursue the boy, as do a couple of home-grown hooligans who believe that Jules is in possession of some murder evidence. The serpentine plot leads to a warm friendship between Jules and the reclusive diva - and to a brilliantly photographed (by Philipe Rousselot) motorcycle chase through the subway tunnels of Paris. Diva marked the directorial debut of Jean-Jacques Beineix, whose obvious fondness for the more esoteric techniques of the Nouvelle Vague never impedes his willingness to simply entertain his audiences.
by Hal Erickson synopsis