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Son frere

Director: Patrice Chereau

FRANCE| 2003. ENGLISH SUBTITLES. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 95 MINUTES.


Patrice Chereau, one of the world’s greatest theatre and opera directors, has also mastered the film medium. His eighth feature in 30 years, Son frere confirms his accomplishment as a cinema artist and won the Best Director prize at the last Berlin Film Festival. This intimate film reveals an ascetic style, a sobriety, even an austerity, that gives priority to the actors and the complexity of human relationships. During a summer at the seaside, in the house where he spent his childhood, Thomas (Bruno Todeschini) is waiting for his death. At any moment, the smallest injury may threaten his life-he is unable to stop bleeding. His younger brother Luc (Eric Caravaca), with whom he has always had a difficult relationship-or, more accurately, no relationship at all-kindles a close bond with him. Long flashbacks to the previous winter, when Thomas was being treated at the hospital, make us feel the agony of a decaying body. Son frere, in its relentless and uncompromising portrayal of an immanent death, is closer to Maurice Pialat’s Mouth Agape (La Gueule ouverte, 1974) than to the aesthetic experience of Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers (1972). Shot in four weeks with a small camera, Son frere confirms the maturity of an artist in complete control of his craft.

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