Archive of films His Brother / Son frère

2003, 95 min

Section: Tribute to Patrice Chéreau
Year: 2009

Chéreau’s film "about death” is an intimate, laconically austere story of two alienated brothers who finally meet up again the day the older brother Thomas discovers he is seriously ill. The deterioration of Thomas’s body and the transformation of Luc’s soul play out in the silence of the inevitable tragedy with which both must reconcile themselves in their own way.


Thomas is dying. He has come to terms with the fact. He has decided that he will wait for death here, in the house on the beach where he spent his childhood. "I am with him. It’s still summer. I never thought that people could die in the summer. I thought death was something that always happened in winter, that it needed cold, grey skies and misery. But now I realise that it can still do its work in the sun, in broad daylight. I think that it will come to Thomas in the light of day…” In its depiction of pain and degradation, Patrice Chéreau’s laconic film goes far beyond the edge of emotions we would ordinarily recognise. It leaves behind the complex family relationships which preceded the night Thomas visited his younger brother Luc, it sets aside notions of love, sex and regret – at that point, all this became irrelevant. Thomas’s strange illness, for which the doctors seem unable to offer a cure, casts both brothers into a state of intimacy reserved only for tragic life situations, which they share and perceive as if in isolation from the rest of the world. Without any emotion whatsoever, but with tacit understanding, the director follows from close proximity the gradual deterioration of Thomas’s body and the transformation of Luc’s spirit, and their journey towards that most elemental of requirements, death and its acceptance. For his direction of this minimalist, profoundly touching film, based on the novel of the same name by Philippe Besson, Patrice Chéreau was awarded a Silver Bear at the Berlin IFF.


Pyramide International
5, rue du Chevalier de Saint-George, 750 08, Paris
Tel: +33 142 960 220
Fax: +33 140 200 551

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Patrice Chéreau
Director: Patrice Chéreau
Screenplay: Patrice Chéreau, Anne-Louise Trividic podle stejnojmenného románu / based on the novel of the same name by Philippe Besson
Dir. of Photography: Eric Gautier
Editor: François Gédigier
Producer: Pierre Chevalier
Production: Arte France, Azor Films, Love Streams Productions
Cast: Bruno Todeschini, Eric Caravaca, Maurice Garrel, Nathalie Boutefeu
Contact: Pyramide International


Patrice Chéreau

Film Director


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