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Vivre Sa Vie (1962)
"Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  20 September 1962 (France)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 15,785 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 89 critic

Twelve episodic tales in the life of a Parisian woman and her slow descent into prostitution.



(book), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sady Rebbot ...
Raoul (as Saddy Rebbot)
André S. Labarthe ...
Guylaine Schlumberger ...
Yvette (as G. Schlumberger)
Gérard Hoffman ...
Le chef
Paul Pavel ...
Dimitri Dineff ...
Peter Kassovitz ...
Le jeune homme
Eric Schlumberger ...
Luigi (as E. Schlumberger)
Brice Parain ...
Le philosophe
Henri Attal ...
Arthur (as Henri Atal)
Gilles Quéant ...
Premier client
Odile Geoffroy ...
La serveuse de café
Marcel Charton ...
L'agent de police


This film explores a Parisian woman's descent into prostitution. The movie is comprised of a series of 12 "tableaux"-- scenes which are basically unconnected episodes, each presented with a worded introduction. Written by Alan Katz <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 September 1962 (France)  »

Also Known As:

My Life to Live  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$64,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored integral)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eddie Constantine was an American-born singer and actor in international films from the 1950s. Nana mentions appearing in a film with him, "No Pity". See more »


Nana: The more one talks, the less the words mean.
See more »


Ma môme
Written by Jean Ferrat and Pierre Frachet
Sung by Jean Ferrat
Conducted by Alain Goraguer
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User Reviews

pinball machines
22 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Birds are creatures with an outside, and an inside. When you remove the outside, you see the inside. When you remove the inside, you see the soul." "Vivre Sa Vie" is an incredibly desultory film about a confused girl (Nana) with an existential crisis; namely, the task of reconciling her decision to become a prostitute with her belief in a free will. As the repercussions of the "painting" she has rendered gradually spiral out of control, Nana becomes progressively more alienated from and confused about her life. This culminates in a chilling scene in a diner, where she lays her soul bare before a well-meaning philosopher, who responds to her desperate queries about the gulf between words and emotions with more words. Erudite words that she cannot possibly understand.

Godard probes his favorite existential motifs with wonderful sensitivity here. When Miss Karina espouses her belief that a "plate is a plate" and a "life is a life", the overwhelming sadness in her eyes betrays the torment of a woman who feels torn from her self by circumstance. Nana turns to prostitution after breaking with her lover, failing to secure a spot in the movies, and being evicted from her flat. Watching her struggle to exact some control over a world that is clearly much bigger than her designs is emotionally draining.

As usual with Godard, the cinematography is lush and his cinema eye is constantly roving. Before Nana's first trick, the camera cuts from Karina's panicked eyes, to a bar of soap. It is a relatively simple, yet effective, symbol that defines a relatively simple, yet affecting film.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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