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52nd edition

La Vie de Jésus

Fortnight 1997, Feature film, 1 h 36


Freddy lives with his mother Yvette in Bailleul. She runs the  » Au Petit Casino  » cafe, where a songbird club meets*. Freddy, who has a complex about his epileptic fits, for which he is being treated at a special clinic in Bailleul, spens much of his time hanging out with his buddies. They’re just 20 year-old country boys who have had little schooling and are already chronically unemployed, spending their days on their souped-up mopeds. Fred has a girl – his love – the beautiful Marie, a supermarket cashier. They often make love at Fred’s, where his mother minds her own business. Fred never sets foot in the home of Marie’s folks, who live up the street – they remain out front for hours on end, making out on the sidewalk. They often stay pressed against one other : he seated on his moped, Marie standing against him, not talking for periods of time, as if they were praying. Several times a day, Freddy and his pals, Miche, Gégé, Robert and Quin, have races around town and on country roads on their mopeds – they even  » play chicken  » on a mysterious 205 GTI – and hold rites of strengh. Sundays, they venture as far as Dunkerque to bathe or parade in the municipal band. No much on brains, this Freddy, but nice. Fred is a simple kid, a country boy. He often looks pathetic, even though one can sense an energy, a force growing within him, what with that expression he sometimes has, the odd posture, the utterances, and the attitudes that he takes… This daily chronicle of Freddy’s life is the framework for a story that edges towards tragedy… * In northern France, chaffinches are entered into contests. Each player brings a chaffinch he has trained and scores the number of trills with chalk marks on a long piece of wood.


Bruno Dumont

Bruno Dumont (born in France) is a French film Director. To date, he has directed several feature films, all of which border somewhere between realistic drama and the avant-garde. His first feature film La vie de Jésus was selected at Directors’ Fortnight. His films have won several awards at the Cannes films Festival. Two of Dumont’s films have won the Grand Prix award: both L’Humanite and Flandres (2006). The only other director who has twice won the Cannes Grand Prix is Andrei Tarkovsky. Dumont’s Hadewijch won the 2009 Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentation at the Toronto Film Festival, and will be distributed in France in 2009, and by IFC in the U.S. in 2010.

David Douche
Geneviéve Cottreel
Kadder Chaatouf
Marjorie Cottreel
Samuel Boidin
Sébastien Bailleul
Sébastien Delbaere
Steve Smagghe

Bruno Dumont

Philippe Van Leeuw

Eric RophéMatthieu Imbert Olivier de Nesles

Guy LecomeYves DeschampsPierre Choukroun

Richard Cuvillier

Set decoration
Frédéric Suchet

PRODUCTION : 3B Productions 70, rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris Tél. : 01 45 48 44 75 Fax : 01 45 49 17 85 CRRAV Norfilms VENTE A L’ETRANGER : Tadrart Films 22, rue Davy, 75017 Paris Tél. : 01 42 63 27 45 Fax : 01 45 49 17 85