Archive of films I Am Not Afraid of Life / La vie ne me fait pas peur

France / Switzerland
1999, 111 min

Section: Visions of Seven - Youth through the Eyes of French Filmmakers
Year: 2006

Four lycée pupils, girlfriends from childhood, use all means available to resist the onslaughts of the life they are about to enter. Their environment is able to offer them assistance, but it could just as easily set them dangerous traps.


The girls whose adolescent years we follow in this film have been friends since childhood. The camera accompanies them over a period of several years so that the pubertal young girls could be played by the same actresses who played them as youngsters. Even back then, it was clear that not all of them had a problem-free family environment which would prepare them for their life ahead. At school they also encounter conflicts and failure, the battle to establish themselves, their fear of maturity. Add to all this their awkwardness during their first experiences with men, and they feel that they simply can’t handle life. They respond differently to these pressures, from aggression and forced gestures of defiance to resignation. The film is composed as a free mosaic of episodes, often stylised as a musical, which, when pieced together, create not only portraits of the four heroines, but also an image of the end of the rough 1970s, when the virtues of the lycée girls no longer reflected demure behaviour and prescribed obedience.

About the director

Noémie Lvovsky (b. 1964, Paris) studied screenwriting at FEMIS during the latter half of the 1980s. She states herself that she was sceptical of film until she came across Truffaut’s work, in particular, his Doinel cycle. She began her film career with short films; Oublie-moi (1994) is her feature debut. She then directed two feature-length films, I Am Not Afraid of Life (1999) and Les sentiments (2002), for which she received the Louis Delluc award in France. She also works in television and is a fine actress, appearing, for example, in the films of Arnaud Desplechin and Claude Berri. She has written for Desplechin (La vie des morts, 1990) and Philippe Garrel (Le coeur fantôme, 1996); screenwriting assumes an important position in her filmography.


Connaissance du cinéma
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Tel: +33 1 435 901 01
Fax: +33 1 435 964 41

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Visions of Seven - Youth through the Eyes of French Filmmakers
Director: Noémie Lvovsky
Screenplay: Noémie Lvovsky, Florence Seyvos
Dir. of Photography: Bertrand Chatry, Agnes Godard
Music: Bruno Fontaine
Editor: Michel Klochendler
Producer: Bruno Pesery, Ruth Waldberger
Production: Arena Films, Vega Film
Cast: Magalie Woch, Ingrid Molinier, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Camille Rousselet, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
Contact: Connaissance du cinéma

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