Arnaud Desplechin (France, 1960) debuted with the short film
La Vie des Morts/ The Life of the Dead (1991).
After the thriller La Sentinelle/ The Sentinel (1992),
the ensemble drama
Comment Je me Suis Dispute'... ma Vie Sexuelle/ My Sex Life... or How I Got into an Argument (1996), the English-language period piece
Esther Kahn (2000), adapted from a short story by Arthur Symons,
he concocted a strage experiment with
an adaptation of Edward Bond's play "In the Company of Men" (1966),
En Jouant 'Dans la Compagnie des Hommes/ Playing 'In the Company of Men (2003), a film that exists in two versions, each one containing rehearsal scenes as well as the film itself.
Rois et Reine/ Kings and Queen (2002) blurs reality, imagination and past.
Characters reveal their true nature during the film. Initially the protagonist looks like a good affectionate mother and daughter, who married (and divorced) a madman.
The protagonist turns out to be abusive, cynical, selfish.
Her husband turns out to be abused, eccentric but generous.
She opens the film by saying that her child is all her life but then she seems to do everything to get rid of him, first leaving him with his granpa and then having his stepfather adopt him.
The film also contains a satire of drug addiction, probably a metaphor for the materialistic society that dominates.
Nora is 35. She had her child Elias (who IS her life, she says) from her first husband, who died very young before the child was born. She then divorced her second husband. She is now engaged to the wealthy and devoted Jean-Jacques, for whom she feels no love. She is a business woman with very little spare time. She buys a gift (an ancient drawing of the legend of Leda and the swan) for her father and drives to pick up her son and visit the old man, who is a celebrated writer. The gift is to celebrate the man's birthday but he is desperate: he has been bleeding from his anus and cries like a child to her. She takes him to the hospital where a doctor diagnoses a cancer in advanced state and recommends immediate surgery.
Elsewhere Ismael is listening to loud metal and rap music. He does not pick up the phone when it rings: the tax people are looking for him. Two male nurses show up and drag him to the mental asylum against his will., noticing that he has prepared a stool and a noose to hang himself. The bigger of the nurses gets injured in the process. Ismael claims in vain to be a viola player in a classical quartet.
The surgeon tells Nora that her father's cancer is so advanced that the operation was interrupted. The old man only has a few days to live.
Ismael's parents visit him at the hospital but refuse to help him. The chief psychiatrist is a cold woman who is insulted by Ismael's sexist remarks and so sentences him to a week of hospitalization., even though he does not appear to be mad. A flashback shows Ismael arguing with the hysterical sister who committed him to the mental asylum the first time.
Nora finally receives a call from her sister Chloe, who lives a destitute life. Chloe is penniless and was hoping to receive money from their father. Nora begs her to come asap. Chloe is devastated to learn that her father cannot send her any money but promises to hitchhike asap. She refuses any help from Nora.
Nora has a vision of her dead husband Pierre, whom she loved so much. She is delighted to see him. She tells him how she insisted to have the bureaucracy recognize him (already dead at the time) as the biological father of Elias, a process that eventually involved a farcical posthumous wedding.
Ismael is desperately looking for someone who can help him get out of the mental asylum. His only friend is the crazy attorney who is fighting his case against the government for his overdue taxes.
The attorney tells him that being declared mad is actually good for the case. When Ismael objects, the attorney reminds him that he has been defaulting on his payments to everybody, including him (the attorney) and his wife Nora.
Only at this point it becomes clear that Ismael is Nora's second husband.
The attorney is a drug addict and convinces Ismael to steal medicines from the hospital's pharmacy.
Nora has an important business meeting back home and needs someone to take care of Elias. She tries to locate Ismael, and she frantically tries to arrange a flight or train back home.
At the mental asylum Ismael flirts with a cute nurse and then with a girl, Aurielle, who has been taken in after trying to commit suicide for the fifth time. Nora arrives at the asylum and asks Ismael not only to take care of Elias but to adopt him: Elias always loved Ismael whereas he dislikes Jean-Jacques.
She tells Ismael that Jean-Jacques does not mean much to her, that Jean-Jacques does drugs and little else. Ismael is a bit jealous. Nora flies back to her father's town. Ismael smokes pot with Aurielle.
Nora finds an old man rummaging through her father's papers. He's Virag, the publisher, who has brought him the proofs of the new book and now desperately needs the writer's last texts.
Ismael steals pills from the pharmacy for Aurielle, but then backs off when she offers to pay him with sex, and she looks disappointed.
Nora imagines that her father gets up from the bed and walks into his home's office to correct the proofs of the book.
Then she remembers what happened the night that Pierre died. He was reading poetry in a pub and came home late. They argued and she refused to let him in. Then she imagines what she told the police, and we see Pierre who kills himself. But then a flashback shows her father telling Nora that he cleaned up her fingerprints from the gun and advising her to tell the police that Pierre committed suicide.
Nora's dead dies and the nurse tells the police that Nora helped him die, i.e. she pulled the plug that kept him alive (Nora could not stand seeing him suffer so much and he had indicated to her that he wanted to die).
Nora returns to the mental asylum and confesses to Ismael that she killed Pierre.
The female director of the asylum finally allows Ismael to leave. Before leaving he kisses (or imagines to kiss) passionately Aurielle.
Outside the attorney is waiting for him and informs him that the government seizes all his belongings.
Ismael confronts her sister Elizabeth hoping to get a retraction from her, i.e. a declaration that he is not mad.
Elizabeth tells him that it wasn't her idea to send him to the asylum but his friend and leader of the quartet Christian.
Ismael then confronts Christian and Christian coldly admits that he did what he could to destroy Ismael's life because he wanted Nora. Christian candidly tells him how much he always hated him.
Chloe finally arrives and gets mad at Nora for not waiting for her before pulling the plug: Nora did not give her a chance to see her father one last time.
Nora reads the proofs that her father never managed to revise. In the new book her father reveals how much he hates her, how cruel and selfish she has always been, how much he hoped that she would die and not him. She tears the pages that talks about her and then chats with Chloe like nothing happened.
Ismael asks his father to sign the adoption papers in his convenience store. While they are talking, three punks walk in, pull out guns and demand money. Ismael's old dad coldly and calmly walks towards them, grabs a metal bar and confronts them. Ismael is terrified but his dad has obviously done it before. The old man eventually disarms all three and kicks them out.
Ismael's parents summon all their children to discuss a family matter: adopting not Elias but a cousin who has always been part of their family. Elizabeth resents the idea but Ismael consents.
Nora is back at Jean-Jacques luxurious villa. They are throwing an engagement party and she burns the pages that she tore from her father's book.
Ismael works in a new ensemble, and the male nurse who got injured by him comes to check out the recording session. He also brings Ismael news of the heartbroken Aurielle, who is about to be dismissed.
Virag the publisher shows up at the villa to pick up the proofs and realizes that Nora destroyed some of the pages.
Ismael, homeless, sleeps in his car. He shows up drunk or stoned at Aurielle's place during a party and they have wild sex.
Ismael takes Elias to a museum and gives him a long lecture on life. He explains why he has decided not to adopt him.
Nora is conscious that she only loved four men (not her new husband) and killed two of them (Pierre and her father) but she is now happy because she can now enjoy her rich life. (It is not clear if she already knows that Ismael has decided not to adopt Elias).
The two and a half hour Un Conte de Noel/ A Christmas Tale (2008)
is another family drama about a large dysfunctional family.
The wild and evil son emerges as the real protagonist as matters of life
and death seem to revolve around him. His dead brother is also lurking
somewhere in the background. The cryptic ending seems to juxtapose two
philosophies of life: the wild son seems to imply that the
best course of action is simply to accept one's fate (and not to know it), and
the austere daughter seems to imply that the best course of action is to
believe that the future that one desires is the one that will materialize.
An old man at the funeral of his dead son tells the people around him that he doesn't feel sorry, he feels reborn, as if he was now his son's son.
The voiceover informs us (over animated images shown inside a puppet theater's stage) that in 1965 Abel and his wife Junon had their first child, Joseph, and a little later his sister Elizabeth.
Joseph developed a rare disease for which a bone-marrow transplant was needed,
but neither parent was compatible, so they conceived another child, Henri, but that too proved useless, and so Joseph died at the age of six.
Eventually the parents had another child, Ivan.
One day, however, Junon drops a tray and sits on the floor.
She denies to her husband Abel that anything is wrong with her.
Elizabeth tells an old man that she is sterile although she has a son.
She hates her borther Henri because five years earlier he was ruined (after
investing in a theater) and willing to ruin his father (the guarantor of the
debt): she stepped in to pay the debt but upon the condition that she would
never see Henri again. She tells the old man that Henri is pure evil: he was
even rejected by his own mother.
Meanwhile, their mother Junon returns home after a visit to the doctor and
tells Abel that she has been diagnosed with advanced cancer: the only thing
that can save her is a bone-marrow transplant, and even that could kill her.
Elsewhere, Elizabeth in tears opens the door to a man who helps her get her
son Paul into an ambulance. At the hospital another man (his father Claude?) sits by the boy's bed
and a flashback shows the boy aiming a knife at Elizabeth.
Elizabeth's other brother Ivan also comes to visit Paul at the hospital.
Everybody agrees that Paul is too lonely.
Meanwhile, a drunk and/or stoned
Henri wanders around the city until he falls unconscious in a street.
Later he visits his cousin asking for news about Paul's conditions.
Elizabeth and Ivan
are tested to see if their blood is compatible
with Elizabeth's in which case they could donate the bone marrow.
Neither is, but Elizabeth discovers that her son Paul is.
But his father Claude is opposed to the transplant.
At home Junon gives the camera a tour of the house.
Two children run inside: her grandchildren Baptiste and Basile, sons of Ivan
and his wife Sylvia. Abel and Junon are babysitting them.
Both have been tested for blood compatibility with Junon.
Paul visits Henri at his office (Henri initially doesn't recognize him)
and tells him that he had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized.
Henri writes a lengthy letter to Elizabeth that we see him reciting while
sitting alone in an empty room.
Sylvia, Ivan and their cousin Simon take a train to Abel's place. Elizabeth (who is revealed to be a playwright) is already there: Abel asks her to make peace with Henri but she refuses.
Paul is alo there, watching an old silent movie, but looks like a zombie.
The family is getting together for Christmas.
Abel distributes the guests in various guest rooms.
We learn that Simon used to live there, raised by Abel and Junon after his parents died.
Abel plays with Ivan's children: Anatole is the wolf who lives in the basement.
Henri shows up in the middle of the night with a new girlfriend, Faunia.
He is welcome by everybody except Elizabeth who is already asleep.
Henri tells Faunia that he was married for just one month, then his wife died in
a car accident.
Over dinner he announces that he got the result of his blood test and he is compatible, which means that he can be the donor for his mother's transplant.
Henri and his mother, alone, discuss their old feud, although in jokingly terms.
Her operation is a risky one even with a donor.
Abel is worried that Henri is not a safe donor because of his drinking habit.
Simon meets his childhood friend Spatafora, who is not invited to the Christmas celebrations, but gives Simon gifts for Junon and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth's husband Claude joins the family.
Abel draws on a classroom-style blackboard his calculations of the probabilities of Junon dying. Claude refines the calculation: after the operation she
should live an extra two years. But it is a risky operation: if it fails,
it leads to a horrible death.
Elizabeth still wants Paul to be the donor and obtains the authorization from the doctors.
Henri insults Claude and Claude punches him in the face and then leaves with
his suitcase. This time it's Elizabeth in person who takes care of Henri's bleeding nose.
Faunia observes the family dynamics, amused.
The following day Junon tells Abel that she doesn't want the operation.
Henri undergoes medical tests and the doctor advises him against the transplant because he is not in good physical conditions.
Junon invites Faunia to go shopping with her.
While they are decorating the Christmas tree, Ivan asks Henri what he did to upset Elizabeth and Henri only admits having sex with her babysitter.
Elizabeth writes a diary in which she calls Henri a disease
and writes that Henri stole her whole life.
Meanwhile, Henri is yelling at his father for letting Junon run the house
and argues that she went mad.
Junon abruptly changes her mind and tells Abel that she'll do the transplant
and Henri will be the donor. Elizabeth begs her in vain to take Paul's
Elizabeth thinks that it would also be good for Paul, who has always been
retarded and useless: this could make him feel like a hero.
The old Rosaimee visits them for dinner. She was the companion of Abel's mother Andree. She tells Sylvia something she never knew: that both Simon and Henri
were in love with her, and Simon was the most seriously in love, but Simon
gave her up thinking that she'd be happy with Ivan, but then Simon became
Sylvia remembers that she met all three of them on the same day.
A flashback shows them dancing at a disco with Ivan dj-ing.
She confronts Simon who admits that it was a decision made by all three men
together. She gets angry realizing that she didn't make a choice: they made it
for her. Incidentally, she mentions that she had sex with Henri, but it sounds
like she loved Simon more than Ivan, and Simon loved her so much to leave her
to Ivan, the better man.
Elizabeth feels the presence of her dead brother Joseph.
Ivan accompanies Abel to the cemetery and Abel tells Ivan that now they know
who gave Joseph the cancer that killed him: it was his mother, Junon.
Faunia is Jewish and dislikes Christmas so she takes the train to go to visit
When he returns home, Elizabeth asks him to stay away from Paul.
Ivan's children perform a play with Paul and their mother.
Then they all exchange gifts under the Christmas tree.
During the dinner Henri, drunk, falls from the chair, causing Elizabeth
to laugh hysterically.
Simon has to carry him on his shoulders to his bedroom.
Simon finds Paul's medicine in Henri's pocket: Henri was hiding it.
Henri wakes up in the middle of the night and climbs out of the window,
risking his life, and then reenters from the front door as if nothing happened.
Junon, Henri and Paul attend Christmas mass, and Paul really prays.
When they return, while it started snowing heavily, Simon is missing.
They all fear that he went drinking and we learn that he is a recovering alcoholic.
Sylvia looks for him in town and finds him in a bar.
After chatting in the car, they return home in the middle of the night.
Only Abel is awake.
Sylvia and Simon retire in Simon's room and have sex.
When Sylvia's children wake up, they find their father Ivan alone,
and Ivan doesn't seem shocked that his wife is not with him.
The children find their mother in bed with Simon, but nobody seems to be
shocked. Ivan simply shakes his head seeing his wife in bed with another man.
Later Ivan and Sylvia flirt in the parking lot where they first met reminiscing
about their first date as if nothing happened.
Henri and Paul go running together in the snowy landscape.
Henri's delirious rambling amuses Paul.
Paul confesses that he is scared of mirrors.
At home Elizabeth confesses to her father Abel that she is always depressed.
Abel suspects it's because she is still obsessed with her brother Joseph's
death and reads her something from Nietzsche,
while the camera roams the streets of the town.
Ivan, Sylvia and their children leave, and Sylvia hugs and kisses Simon one
The night before the operation Abel watches his wife sleep.
In the morning Henri and Junon drive to the hospital.
The doctors take Henri's bone marrow and transplant it into Junon's body.
When Henri wakes up, he rushes to see his mother, but his mother, hardly
grateful, tells him that her body will reject his bone marrow.
Without telling her why, Henri flips a coin and then refuses to show her
The film ends with a
smiling Elizabeth, reconciled with the idea that she now lives in the world
created by her son Paul, and convinced that Junon will live.
The psychoanalytic study Jimmy P (2013) was based on
George Devereux's book "Reality and Dream" (1951).
La Foret/ The Forest (2014) is an adaptation of
Alexander Ostrovsky's play "Les/ The Forest" (1870).
Trois Souvenirs de ma Jeunesse/ My Golden Days (2015) was a prequel
to Comment Je me Suis Dispute', and, by his standards, was disappointing.
Les Fantomes d'Ismael/ Ismael's Ghosts (2017)
Ismael's Ghosts is a fantastic suspenseful puzzle of a movie-within-a-movie with countless references to the history of cinema and to 20th century culture in general. The protagonists have last names taken from James Joyce (Dedalus and Bloom); the protagonist reads Freud and sounds like the perfect specimen for a Freudian psychoanalysis; the mad director is a satirical self-portrait just like Blake Edwards' SOB) and his deranged actions recall Roman Polanski's characters; the disappeared woman has a name that recalls Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and a story that recalls his Rebecca); one of the key characters is played by Hungarian film-maker Laszlo Szabo; the existential dialogues seem taken from an Ingmar Bergman film; the insistence on showing scenes via mirrors looks like a tribute to Orson Welles; and Dedalus is played by the same actor who played Paul Dedalus in three earlier Desplechin films. There are many scenes that speak more with their visual setting. The chronology is mixed up to the point of chaos, and additionally complicated by the fact that only half way the film reveals that most of what we have seen is a film being made or scripted by the protagonist (and therefore its events don't have a chronological sequence in the events of his life). By the end we are left wondering if the story of his wife could also be just a figment of his imagination and the script for a movie. In the end, it all serves for a disenchanted analysis of the tragicomedy the we call life. Even if she is real, it is not clear if she is the real Carlotta. Carlotta dances to Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe" maybe an insinuation that she's not Carlotta and she's just playing with their feelings, enjoying the fact that she's creating different kinds of anxiety to each of them (the husband is now torn between a bad wife who repeatedly cheated on him and a new girlfriend who is the perfect lover; the girlfriend is obviously jealous that she's destroying her first real love and sending her back to her lonely life as a boring scientist; and the father even has a heart attack because of his daughter's resurrection). To make the story even more ambiguous, the protagonist is afflicted by nightmares, which means that we don't know which parts of the film are his life and which part are his nightmares.
The film is also about the descent into madness of the filmmaker.
A middleaged businessman walking in the street keeps mumbling two words: Ivan and Dedalus. He enters the foreign ministry and inquires about Dedalus. He has disappeared and they are not even sure whether he still works for them (for France). At a dinner table in a restaurant someone tells a story about this Dedalus. The others agree that Dedalus was a great asset while he worked fo them, but someone implies he could be a spy. This Ivan Dedalus came out of nowhere hired by Claverie, who is now viewed as a traitor. A flashback shows this Ivan Dedalus meeting with Claverie for the job interview and being hired despite the lack of education and a generally mysterious life.
Then the film shifts to a man drinking, working and listening to music at home in the middle of the night: filmmaker Ismael, who is working on the script for a new movie. His father-in-law Henri calls in a state of panic. Ismael takes a taxi to his house. Henri had a nightmare about his daughter Carlotta, Ismael's wife, who disappeared 18 years earlier. Henri dreamed that she was murdered but actually they never found the body. They watch pictures of her as a child and we learn that she was cheating on Ismael while he was neglecting her for his work in cinema and theater. He declared her missing but after ten years he had her declared dead. Henri is a filmmaker too, and tells Ismael that he has been invited to a retrospective of his films to be held in Israel. They are both Jews. Henri knows that Ismael has a new girlfriend named Sylvia. In fact, Ismael takes a taxi to her lace. She becomes the narrator and tells us the story of how they met. She was a shy and boring astrophysicist, he an exciting filmmaker. She had been disappointed by a series of married men and was taking care of her handicapped brother Pierre, whom she calls her blessing. He candidly admitted that he slept with all the pretty actresses of his films. They became lovers.
The film shifts to the couple living in a beach home, where he is still thinking about his new film and she seems mostly busy suntanning at the beach. She asks him about his new film and he tells her that it's a film about his brother Ivan, the spy. He tells her he is afflicted by recurring nightmares.
The film returns to the dinner table where agents of the foreign ministry are discussing Ivan. A flashback shows how Ivan met his colleague Arielle at the gate of an airport while everybody else was asleep. Ivan told Arielle that he had Elsinore syndrome giving him violent nightmares so he tried not to sleep and took pills to avoid sleeping.
Sylvia is suntanning when a stranger asks her about Ismael. The stranger introduces herself as his wife Carlotta, the dead one. Sylvia brings Carlotta home. It's been 21 years since she disappeared (therefore two years have elapsed since the first scene in which Ismael appeared). Ismael recognizes her: she's really Carlotta. Carlotta doesn't have a place to stay and Sylvia invites her to stay with them. That night Ismael gets very angry at Carlotta for disappearing without a word, letting him and her father think that she was dead. She claims that doesn't remember why she left. She remembers wandering around and eventually ending up in India, where she slept with a lot of men and finally married an older man who died three weeks earlier. The two girls chat amiably at the beach.
The film returns to Ivan Dedalus. He asked Arielle for a date. She tells him that he has been selected for a transfer to the embassy in Tajikstan for three years and demands that he marries her. They get married in a hurry. (But everything about Ivan looks less and less credible).
At the beach house, Carllotta coldly tells Sylvia that she wants Ismael back.
Carlotta tells Ismael how she met Alex, the older married man, and she had a happy time until he died. Ismael tells Sylvia that Carlotta cheated on him several times with several men and that he doesn't feel bound to his ex-wife. Nonetheless, Sylvia leaves the beach house. Carlotta seduces Ismael to have sex with her promising to disappear the following day.
Ismael is suspicious that Carlotta doesn't seem to care about seeing her father and asks her questions to determine whether she's the real Carlotta. She refuses to answer. She begs him to take her back and even to give her a child.
A flashback shows Ismael starting the shooting of the movie about his brother Ivan and Sylvia invited as a spectator and meet the producer, Zwy. After the shooting, Ismael takes Sylvia to his home and she sees portrait of Carlotta when she was a teenager, the only picture he has of her.
They make love. Presumably that's when they became lovers. Ismael and Carlotta's father Henri went to the airport for their flight to Israel his retrospective, but the flight attendant kicked Henri out the plane because he insisted on drinking his own bottle of alcohol. Henri shouted in vain that he, a Jew, was the target, not the terrorist. Nonetheless, they made it to Israel and Henri Bloom gave his talk at the opening.
Back to the present, Ismael still hasn't told him that Carlotta is alive for fear that the news would kill him. Carlotta inquires at a government office whether annulling her death will restore her marriage: no.
Ismael, still haunted by nightmares, leaves everything and takes a train back to his hometown.
Meanwhile, the crew is waiting for him to continue shooting the film. The producer asks actress Faunia (the one who plays Ivan's lover Arielle) she was with Ismael till dawn. Now we have no more doubts that all the scenes about Ivan were scenes about the film that Ismael is making about his brother. The Ivan that we have seen so far is simply an actor playing Ivan, not the real Ivan. And his lover Arielle is actually an actress who is in reality Ismael's new lover Faunia. She tells producer Zwy that she was in bed with Ismael till dawn and that Ismael is no longer with Sylvia.
Meanwhile, Ismael walks into his childhoom home. He straps a device to his chest and visits a doctor about his nightmares. The movie about Ivan continues in his head: Arielle (played by Faunia) visits Ivan in Tajikstan, finds two hanged puppets in her room and electronic bugs everywhere, and realizes that a foreign power wants imam Farias (whom she calls the most wanted man in the world). We briefly see Ismael in between these scenes: this plot is going on in his mind.
Faunia finds Ismael in a park, lying on the grass, and they make love.
Zwy finds him in his childhood home via his credit card charges. Zwy begs Ismael to finish the film but a delirious Ismael is confused on how to continue the script and even aims a gun at the producer. Ismael shows him paintings that he found in the ceiling and that he hung ropes to show how Renaissance artists discovered and applied the science of perspective. Ismael tells Zwy that his brother Ivan died five years earlier in Ethiopia, and was there. Zwy calls Ethiopia and finds out that Ivan is alive. It's the real Ivan (not the actor) who answers the phone, and we see him (the real Ivan) for the first time.
Zwy tells Ivan that Ismael's new film is about him, Ivan, and Ivan gets furious because he doesn't trust Ismael. Meanwhile, Ismael, even more delirious, sees himself at the door, grabs the gun and shoots. destroying the glass door and fainting in the glass shards.
Meanwhile, Carlotta follows her father Henri in the street. When her father sees her, he shouts to go away. Then Henri frantically calls Sylvia who confirms that Carlotta is back. He collapses and is taken to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Zwy breaks in through a window into Ismael's refuge and finds Ismael still unconscious on the floor. Ismael removes the glass shards from his face and starts telling Zwy how he will continue the plot about Ivan: Ivan is now stationed with Claverie in Prague and meets a Russian, Igor, at a museum who befriends him. Ismael gets excited and tells the story in front of a screen while still brandishing the gun. Inspired by the meeting with Ivan at the museum, the Russian publishes an article on Jackson Pollock and delivers a lot of money and to Ivan as a reward for inspiring the article. Ivan and Arielle report this to Claverie who assumes that Ivan has become a spy. Ivan follows Igor in the street, Igor's phone rings and blows up in his face, killing him.The whole scene that we are watching is the scene that Ismael is describing to his agent while waving the gun. Ismael gets so excited that he accidentally pulls the trigger and shoots Zwy in the arm. Ismael apologizes but Zwy had enough of his madness. While the
doctor cleans his wound, Zwy asks the doctor to sedate Ismael. Zwy and the doctor then drive the sedated Ismael back to the set of the film. Ismael wakes up tied to a bed and Sylvia is there.
Meanwhile, Henri is hospitalized unconscious and Carlotta is at his bedside. When he wakes up, he has a hysterical attack seing Carlotta. When he calms down, he wonders why they are treating his heart attack as an emergency: he is 83 and it's time for him to die anyway.
Finally, Sylvia sits in front of the camera and tells us the ending. Henri died, Carlotta left, Sylvia got pregnant of Ismael. Her only trouble is that her handicapped brother, who is living in a clinic, is jealous is having lost his monopoly on his sister's love.
Roubaix une Lumiere/ Oh Mercy! (2019) was a mediocre crime drama. adapted from a 2008 TV documentary by Mosco Boucault titled
"Roubaix, Commissariat Central".
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