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No Fear, No Die (1990)
"S'en fout la mort" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 331 users  
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Dah and Jocelyn come from Benin, Africa, to coach their rooster, "S'en fout la mort", for an illicit cock-fight in the basement of a restaurant.


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Cast overview:
Alex Descas ...
Pierre Ardennes
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Daniel Bellus ...
François Oloa Biloa ...
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Alain Banicles ...
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The girl


Natives of Benin and the West Indies, Dah and Jocelyn form a fine team. Dah is convinced that this time, luck smiles on them. They begin working for a restauranteur who organizes clandestine cockfights in the basement of his establishment. Confined all day long in the restaurant's basement, they train their rooster, a future champion named "S'en fout la mort". Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

5 September 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Al diavolo la morte  »

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User Reviews

Brutal depiction of depravity courtesy of Claire Denis
17 July 1999 | by (North Thailand) – See all my reviews

I think, and have thought for awhile now, that Claire Denis is truly a filmmaker to watch. I think that she's one of a sorrowfully small handful of modern filmmakers (including Atom Egoyan and Tran Anh Hung) that may go on to make some truly incredible works of art. With each passing film I think that she gets closer to a fully mature style. I think that "No Fear, No Die" is one of the lesser films she's done - that I've seen anyway - but that's not an insult. Far from it, because I found the film to be an eye-opening depiction of the truly vicious practice of cockfighting. It is also, on a larger scale, a portrait of a man who is surrounded by depravity and violence and who, because he has not totally de-sensitized himself to it like those around him, cannot help but let it affect him until he finally snaps.

Two West African brothers in France make their living training cocks to become killing machines. When recruited by a bar owner who wants to open up his own "ring," the brothers set out selecting and training the animals. Denis obviously did her homework - her depiction of the rigorous training sessions is meticulous. Actually, the film is extraordinarily realistic and also extraordinarily graphic. I was shocked when, at the end of the film, the words "no animals were harmed during the making of this film" appeared on the screen. I'm still a little skeptical. The brothers themselves are both very different, yet they have a very strong bond. Jocelyn is the one who is most experienced at what they do, kind of like the Yoda of cockfighting. Dah is the one that handles finances, etc. Ironically, though, it is Jocelyn who is susceptible to acts of conscious because it is he who is most experienced and it is he who spends all day with the birds - and becomes almost a sort of father figure to them - only to watch them butchered in the ring. The title "No Fear, No Die" comes from the name that Jocelyn gives to the prize bird, the champion, a bird who until the end seems invincible.

Gandhi once said that the true measure of how civilized a society is can be found by looking at how it treats its animals. The message of "No Fear, No Die" seems to be that disregard of and insensitivity towards the lives of animals leads to insensitivity on a greater scale. Jocelyn lets in get to him and leads him to an act of near-homicide. In a modern age in which the peoples of "civilized" nations have become so de-sensitized because of their cultures of excess, we are steadily running headfirst into the brink of our own self-destruction. But no one, it seems, can afford to give a damn.

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