Archive of films The First, the Last / Les premiers, les derniers

France / Belgium
2016, 98 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2016

A forlorn and desolate landscape is the place where mentally challenged Esther and Willy meet two hirsute guys in biker jackets who are looking for a stolen phone. Excelling for its melancholy atmosphere and surprising reversals, director Bouli Lanners takes one of the leads in a movie that tips its hat to the Western. Jiří Kylián’ s short film Schwarzfahrer will be screened before the feature.


Esther and Willy are young, mentally challenged, in love, and on the run. Gilou and Cochise are two hirsute guys in biker jackets, who set out in their van to recover a customer’s stolen phone. And there are others wandering about the forlorn and desolate landscape crisscrossed by power lines: a guy bearing the stigmata who calls himself Jesus, a group trying to find out who raped their boss’s wife, a solitary woman, and an old man who cultivates orchids. They all meet sooner or later, and their seemingly chance encounters have a lasting impact. In a film harking back to the Western, director Bouli Lanners, who also fills one of the lead roles, plays with the elements of character – and also with his audiences. The viewer cannot be sure of the development of the story or even of the next shot. The only option is to soak up the melancholy atmosphere of a movie offering humanity and justice where it is least expected.

Ivana Novotná

About the director

Bouli Lanners (b. 1965, Moresnet-Chapelle, Belgium) graduated from Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège and acted in numerous films prior to his 1995 debut as a director. His writer-director feature The Giants (Les géants, 2011) was presented in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and won a Magritte (Belgian national award) for Best Film. His latest attempt at direction, The First, the Last, screened at this year’s Berlin IFF in Panorama. In addition to several shorts, he also has two other features to his credit: the drama Ultranova (2004) and the tragicomedy Eldorado (2008; FIPRESCI Prize in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes IFF).


Wild Bunch
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Tel: +33 143 132 130
Fax: + 33 1 431 321 30

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Bouli Lanners
Screenplay: Bouli Lanners
Dir. of Photography: Jean-Paul De Zaeytijd
Music: Pascal Humbert
Editor: Ewin Ryckaert
Art Director: Paul Rouschop
Producer: Jacques-Henri Bronckart, Olivier Bronckart, Catherine Bozorgan
Production: Versus production, ADCB Films
Coproduction: Prime Time, VOO, BE TV, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone
Cast: Albert Dupontel, Bouli Lanners, Suzanne Clément, Michael Lonsdale
Sales: Wild Bunch

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