Archive of films Paul Is Leaving / Paul s'en va

2004, 85 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2005

A dramatized cinematic essay about young Swiss acting students. They talk and talk about contemporary society, put on performances about it, and actively seek to contribute to its transformation.


The story takes place in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, among students of a performing arts academy. The film follows them during their everyday activities, on walks, while shopping, during encounters at school, and at meals. Wherever they go, words play the main role: the young men and women are constantly in discussion or spieling out long monologues in front of the lens of a static camera. This talkativeness does not seek to reveal their lives or personalities. The flow of spoken words is only intended to offer a glimpse of what today’s young people think about politics and about the social events happening around them. The film’s individual chapters are introduced by the dates of specific May days, and by extensive clusters of names: thinkers and artists (Heidegger, Marx, Michon, Pasolini, Brecht, Céline, Jarry, Dostoevsky, Artaud, Handke, etc.) which the students cite in this Godardesque cinematic essay while formulating their opinions about the Left, consumer society, the current establishment, capitalism, nuclear weapons, American politics...

About the director

Alain Tanner  (b. 1929, Geneva) graduated originally in economics. With Claude Goretta he founded a film society in Geneva and together, at the end of period of study at the British Film Institute, they shot a documentary on London entitled Nice Time (1956). In the years 1960-68, after returning to Switzerland, he made films for television, primarily documentaries. Tanner occupies a major place among the few important Swiss filmmakers and film activists. He initiated the founding of the Swiss Filmmakers Association (1962). Today, including documentaries, he has more than thirty films to his credit, and his work has long been screened and awarded at top festivals. Selected filmography: Charles, Dead or Alive (Charles mort ou vif, 1969), Le retour d’ Afrique (1973), Light Years Away (Les années lumières, 1981), The Woman from Rose Hill (La femme de Rose Hill, 1989), The Man Who Lost His Shadow (L’homme qui a perde son ombre, 1991), Requiem (1996), Fleurs de sang (2001).


CAB Productions
Av. du Grey 123, Ch-1018, Lausanne
Tel: +41 21 641 04 08
Fax: +41 21 641 04 89

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Alain Tanner
Screenplay: Alain Tanner, Bernard Comment
Dir. of Photography: Denis Jutzeler
Music: Michel Wintsch
Editor: Max Karli
Producer: Alain Tanner
Production: Filmograph SA, koprodukce/coproduction: Télévision Suisse Romande, CAB Productions, Gemini Films
Cast: Madeleine Piguet, Julien Tsongas, Lucie Zelger, Pauline Le Comte, Julia Batinova, Nathalie Dubey
Contact: CAB Productions


Francine Brücher


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