Archive of films Code 46 / Code 46

United Kingdom
2003, 93 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2004

The limitations which genetic engineering may force upon intimate relationships in the near future serves as the basis of a futuristic love story set in the near future in Shanghai. The Oedipal myth and film noir merge in the story of a detective who falls in love with a female suspect. 


The near future. Shanghai detective William Geld has to find out which Sphinx insurance company employee is distributing false "papelles" - futuristic insurance ID protecting citizens in the overpopulated metropolis from the non-citizens kept outside. William finds out that Maria Gonzales is passing the forgeries, but he doesn´t do his duty because he ends up falling in love with her. After spending a night of passion together, he returns home to his family in Seattle. Then one of Maria´s clients dies while using a fake papelle and he has to return to Shanghai. He finds his beloved at a medical clinic. Like him she has violated Code 46. This futuristic variation, employing the Oedipal myth and film noir rolled into one, comes out of the possibilities and limitations which genetic engineering may force upon humanity in the near future.

About the director

Michael Winterbottom (b. 1961, Blackburn, United Kingdom) graduated in English from Oxford University and in film from Bristol University and London Polytechnic. He started out in television as an editor, documentarist (two documentaries on Ingmar Bergman, among others) and director (e.g. a segment of the series "Cracker" for BBC Family and the award-wining drama The Strangers). He debuted with the black lesbian comedy Butterfly Kiss (1994). Next came an adaptation of Thomas Hardy´s Jude the Obscure entitled Jude (1996); a war story set in occupied Bosnia, Welcome to Sarajevo (1997); the drama I Want You (1998); the generation gap movie Wonderland (1999); and another Hardy transfer, The Claim (2000). The pseudo-documentary 24 Hour Party People (2001) and the immigrant story In This World (2002) were presented at the Karlovy Vary IFF.


The Works Film Group
5th Floor, Fairgate House, 78 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1HB, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 612 1080
Fax: +44 207 612 1081

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Screenplay: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Dir. of Photography: Marcel Zyskind
Music: David Holmes, Steve Hilton
Editor: Peter Christelis
Producer: Andrew Eaton
Production: Code 46 Films Limited
Cast: Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton, Om Puri, Jeanne Balibar, Nabil Elouhabi, Togo Igawa
Contact: The Works Film Group

© 2021 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide