Archive of films Patchwork Family / Du goudron et des plumes

France / Germany
2014, 92 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2014

The film’s original French title (Tar and Feathers) refers to a public punishment used in the Middle Ages and beyond: here protagonist Christian is figuratively punished for the swindles he perpetrated against his fellow citizens. An ironic morality tale that unfolds in a sleepy country town, whose rituals Pascal Rabaté captures just as faithfully as in his prior Holidays by the Sea (Best Director at KVIFF 2011).


With its unusual title in the original French ("Tar and Feathers”), this story of atonement refers to a public punishment condoned in the Middle Ages and beyond: the perpetrator was doused in tar and rolled in feathers. In the present case, the figurative culprit is Christian, a divorced man who until now has blundered between his real life as an inconsiderate loser and his desire to be an example to his adolescent daughter, and perhaps even to find a new relationship. Set in a small country town where boredom and middle-class rituals hold sway, Pascal Rabaté’s ironic morality tale inventively handles the individual scenes from a perspective reminiscent of his previous Holidays by the Sea, for which he won Best Director at Karlovy Vary in 2011. Even the players’ performances are subordinated to a certain theatrical stylization: Christian is played by Sami Bouajila, an actor of Tunisian origin and a favorite in France, with the similarly well-known Isabelle Carré taking the role of Christine. She becomes a bright spot in the sullen hero’s life, and the director was able to take advantage of the actress’s actual pregnancy during the shoot.

About the director

Pascal Rabaté

Pascal Rabaté (b. 1961, Angers, France) graduated in engraving from art school in Angers, where he continues to live and work. Since 1989 he has published several comic books, transforming one about late-life sex into a film entitled Wandering Streams (Les petits ruisseaux, 2010), which enjoyed exceptional success with French critics and audiences alike. His next film, the silent comedy Holidays by the Sea (Ni à vendre ni à louer, 2011, Best Director at KVIFF 2011), was also based on his comics. As an actor Rabaté appeared in Louise-Michel (2008, dirs. Gustave de Kervern, Benoît Délepine). In autumn 2011 Rabaté exhibited his art in Prague.


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About the film

Color, DCP
World premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Pascal Rabaté
Screenplay: Pascal Rabaté, Antoine Pinson
Dir. of Photography: Benoît Chamaillard
Music: Alain Pewzner
Editor: Jean-François Elie
Producer: Xavier Delmas
Production: Loin Derrière l’Oural
Coproduction: Belle Epoque Films
Cast: Sami Bouajila, Isabelle Carré, Talina Boyaci
Contact: Films Boutique


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Sales Agent

Pascal Rabaté

Film Director

Xavier Delmas


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Film Institution Rep.

Joel Chapron

Film Institution Rep.

Isabelle Giordano

Film Institution Rep.


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