Lucile Hadzihalilovic (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
A gender-swapped companion piece to her equally enigmatic and mystifying debut Innocence (2004), director Lucile Hadzihalilovic's aquatic fairy tale feels like the bastard son of Jacques Cousteau and David Cronenberg. In a remote seaside village, pale-skinned mothers nurture their sons to pregnancy age with a strange diet and sinister hospital treatments. When ten-year-old Nicolas (Max Brebant) finds a corpse and starts questioning this existence, with its strange matriarchal community and nocturnal rituals, his comingof-age nightmare truly begins. Beautifully shot by Manuel Dacosse (Amer) with a ravishing assortment of striking and startling images (mainly starfish-related), this ambiguous and amphibious odyssey into future human transformation piles on the ambient weirdness and avant-garde creepiness with little actual effect. Ethereality is one thing, impenetrability quite another, but Hadzihalilovic (who is married to controversial director Gaspar Noé) clearly doesn't mind her head-scratcher being the very definition of art-house micro-niche. One for the Under the Skin brigade.


A youngster growing up in a town inhabited only by boys and women makes a strange discovery in the ocean that leaves him convinced that secrets are being kept from him. When he is taken to hospital for a series of procedures, he discovers the terrible truth about his home. Sci-fi mystery, starring Max Brebant and Roxane Duran. In French.

Cast & Crew

Nicolas Max Brebant
Stella Roxane Duran
La mère Julie-Marie Parmentier
Victor Mathieu Goldfeld
Franck Nissim Renard
Le 4e garçon Pablo-Noé Etienne
Le docteur Nathalie Legosles
Director Lucile Hadzihalilovic
see more

Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeGuidance: Nudity.Released on: 6 May 2016