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Godard's Passion (1982)

Passion (original title)
On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Boulard
László Szabó ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Le machino
Patrick Bonnel ...
Sophie Lucachevski ...
Barbara Tissier
Magali Campos ...
Myriem Roussel ...
Serge Desarnanos
Ágnes Bánfalvy ...
(as Ági Bánfalvi)
Ezio Ambrosetti
Manuelle Baltazar


On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is stuck in France making a film for TV. He's over budget and uninspired; the film, called "Passion," seems static and bloodless. Hanna owns the hotel where the film crew stays. She lives with Michel, who runs a factory where he's fired Isabelle, a floor worker. Hanna and Isabelle are drawn to Jerzy, hotel maids quit to be movie extras, people ask Jerzy where the story is in his film, women disrobe, extras grope each other off camera, and Jerzy wonders why there must always be a story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

26 May 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Godard's Passion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The tableaux vivants filmed are: "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt; "The Parasol", "The Third of May 1808", "La Maja Desnuda" and "Charles IV of Spain and His Family" by Goya; "The Valpinçon Bather" and "The Turkish Bath" by Ingres; "Entry of the Crusaders in Constantinople" and "Jacob wrestling with the angel" by Eugène Delacroix; "Assumption of the Virgin" by El Greco; "The Embarkation for Cythera" by Watteau. See more »


Hanna: Hi Isabelle, what's up?
Isabelle: You shouldn't make fun of the working class.
See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »


Frères humains, L'amour n'a pas d'âge
Written by Léo Ferré
See more »

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User Reviews

"...there are no rules in film."
26 May 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Godard's 'Passion' will inevitably draw violent reactions from didactic viewers with a classical Hollywood outlook, even though it expressly addresses the contradictions and pains in discerning just what makes a film "a film". To condemn it as boring or shapeless is to blindly miss the point.

For those of us more inclined to tackle this fascinating question, there is much to luxuriate in here. From even a purely aesthetic viewpoint, the wonderfully incongruent images (like the ship in the forest) and the beautifully lit reconstructions of classical paintings (with their attendant outpourings of classical music) are enough to hold sway.

With these tools, Godard contrasts the passion and belief in labour; the practical against the artistic. Isabelle Huppert's stuttering, incoherent virgin loves her factory job and fights for her "right" to work, while the jaded director Jerzy, surrounded by a bevy of naked beauties during the making of his elusive film, sullenly stages his reconstructions. His work, however, contains no such solace and he becomes morose to the point of inertia by his task of creating a formally perfect but outwardly fragmented piece. Jerzy's constant frustration with having to explain to others what his film is "about" is a poignant running comedic highlight. But that is only part of the battle - practical concerns impinge also. This is painfully clear (and bitterly funny) when Jerzy's ever suffering assistant points out to the frustrated producer the individual cost of each item on the set in an attempt to explain where all the money is going.

The characters aggressive tussling, either through physical pulling and pushing or through their cars (reminiscent of Godard's masterpiece 'Week End'), also signify the difficulty and pain inherent in any kind of birth. The quiet moments call out to be examined and celebrated as much as the grand statement while others jostle for their money, their moment, or even a simple explanation as to what it all means.

Like most of Godard's late work, this mosaic approach will not appeal to all who cross its path (what film ever does?) but, even if it does ultimately fall short of answering any of the questions it asks, adherents will find much to ruminate on.

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