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Release Date:
4 July 1997 (USA) See more »
Jean-Luc Godard's densely packed rumination on the need to create order and beauty in a world ruled... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Disillusionment See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order)
Madeleine Assas ... Camille
Ghalia Lacroix ... Rosette
Bérangère Allaux ... Actrice
Vicky Messica ... Metteur en scène

Frédéric Pierrot ... Jérôme
Harry Cleven ... Grand écrivain
Michel Francini ... Baron
Sabine Bail ... Sabine - amie du Baron
Max André ... Conseiller
Sylvie Herbert ... Maman
Cécile Reigher ... Assistante opérateur
Dominique Pozzetto ... Stagiaire

Yasna Zivanovic
Nathalie Dorval ... Journariste
Dan Thorens ... Serb Corporal
Daniel Krellenstein
Jean Grécault
Béatrice Avoine
Marc Faure ... Ministre
Valerio Popesco
Euryale Winter
Gérard Baume
Norbert Krief
Cécile Caillaud
Nedeljko Grujic
Claire Laroche ... Amie premier assistant
Hervé Langlois ... Acteur
Alain Moussay ... Régisseur
Stéphanie Lagarde
Zbigniew Horoks (as Zbiniew Lacombe)
André Lacombe
Stanislas Gaczol
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karine Belly
Sarah Bensoussan ... La Femme Du Grand Ecrivain
Juliette Subira
Serge Musy ... Jeune homme au cinéma (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean-Luc Godard  uncredited

Produced by
Alain Sarde .... producer
Ruth Waldburger .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Katell Djian 
Jean-Pierre Fedrizzi 
Christophe Pollock 
Film Editing by
Jean-Luc Godard (uncredited)
Production Design by
Ivan Niclass 
Costume Design by
Nadine Butin 
Marina Zuliani 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gilbert Guichardière .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Olivier Burgaud .... sound
François Musy .... sound
Music Department
Ketil Bjørnstad .... composer: stock music
Eric Cerantola .... musician: piano
Jon Christensen .... composer: stock music
David Darling .... composer: stock music
Ben Harper .... composer: stock music
Théophanis Kapsopoulos .... conductor
György Kurtág .... composer: stock music
Orchestre les jeunes de Fribourg .... musician
Other crew
Marie-Christine Delmotte .... production assistant
Hervé Duhamel .... production assistant
Véronique Fraget .... production assistant
Laurent Maillefer .... production assistant
Philippe Saal .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Disillusionment, 4 April 2011
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

Pointless, the negative reviews damn this film. Yes, but only if we arrive here expecting a narrative separated from the life and legacy of its author. But if we have apprenticed in Godard's work and stuck with him, for better or worse, the inscrutable film is a rich text which can be read, to various effects.

The prophecies of the ancient oracle at Delphii hinged on the presence of the coma, moving the coma to the next word the entire sentence attained new meaning. The prophecies were oral however, which means the coma was a later adoption, by the receiver. Moving the figurative coma here we get different interpretations, both meaningful in their contradiction.

A couple of young French intellectuals with aspirations for political activism embark on a trip to Sarajevo to stage a Musset play (or make a film, I'm not clear on this). Along with them tags halfheartedly their old uncle, a theatrical writer. When we see him sitting on a bed, a grizzly crone wearing a hat, ruminating quotes from a book in hand, we know who he is or is meant to be. In the 60's Godard spoke through radical, troubled youths like these, now he feels separate, of an older, bitter generation who fought its struggles and stepped aside, to let the following generation take its stab at the political chimera.

Two instances in the film, figurative comas, are important in this aspect.

One is the arrival of our youths at Sarajevo, criminal no man's land torn by a bloody civil war. Youth radicals from Western countries in the 60's enlisted in various revolutionary causes like the PLO, what used to be anticipated hopefully is now met by Godard with cruel, bitter disillusionment. Our protagonist are not greeted as brother guerillas come to join a cause that matters, instead they're summarily arrested. The dream of revolution is here crashed under torture, ridicule, ingloriously digging their own graves. A corrupt Yugoslavian general presides over the aimless carnage, now and then a soldier routinely makes the rounds of mortars planted in the middle of nowhere, casually firing rounds at unseen enemies. But is that failure one of ideas or people, we'll have to decide as viewers.

The other, personally poignant for Godard, is the uncle who abandons these youths before Sarajevo, running off with a truck of film equipment to make a film. Shifting the coma here we may read this variously, as Godard recognizing with the hindsight old age permits the folly of what is to come, or as Godard reflecting with some regret and shame that he wasn't more involved in that cause in his time and merely made films.

Whatever meaning we choose to ascribe, Godard here doesn't follow the revolution, he openly abandons it (which he did more than a decade ago, perhaps only now mustering the courage to clearly show on film). But, having withdrawn from the dream that used to matter, where does he turn next to devote himself?

We may know the answer from Godard's career, the films he chose to make, the subjects that troubled him next. On the set of the film-within which the uncle assists in making, he stages a second absurdist comedy, this time a biting satire of the debasement of filmmaking. He establishes this with running gags. Cinematographers always an f-stop off, walking around trying in vain to get light readings, a megalomaniac director who demands for his shots more water in the sea.

Both these points, politics and cinema, are met with disillusionment. If nothing exists after the end and this life is all that matters, as we're told in the film, then the life we're shown here doesn't amount to much, the struggle is solitary and disheartening. In many respects this is a continuation of Week End where in the end of it youths marched off with joyous clamor and violence to a revolution, only now Godard wastes no cheap shots mocking the bourgeois and includes himself and the revolution in the recipients of his ire.

At film's end, Godard, the uncle, is sitting alone with a book, overhearing a rehearsal of Mozart in a different room ("too many notes, they said"). The film then elucidates, bitterly or smartly, the events and decisions that brought him to where he is now, in 1996.

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