The Life of Jesus (1997)
"La vie de Jésus" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  4 June 1997 (France)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,665 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 27 critic

A social movie about life nowadays in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They try to pass away the time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
David Douche ...
Marjorie Cottreel ...
Kader Chaatouf ...
Sébastien Delbaere ...
Samuel Boidin ...
Steve Smagghe ...
Sébastien Bailleul ...
Geneviève Cottreel ...
Yvette - la mère de Freddy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Suzanne Berteloot ...
L'infirmière (as Suzanne Bertelot)
Hélène Blaevoet ...
La collègue de Marie
Madame Chaatouf ...
La mère de Kader
Monsieur Chaatouf ...
Le père de Kader
Harmonie de Bailleul ...
Melinda Deseure ...
La chef des majorettes
Francis Desure ...
Le policier avec Freddy


A social movie about life nowadays in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They try to pass away the time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by directing their aggressive feelings towards Arabic immigrants. Freddy is in love with Marie, a cashier at a local supermarket. When she is proposed by Kader, an young Arab man, Freddy and his friends have an idea: they decide to punish Kader for what they call "such a provocation." After they have raped another girl, Marie finally commits to Kader, which seals his fate. Written by Philippe Petit <>

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Release Date:

4 June 1997 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Life of Jesus  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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First film of Bruno Dumont. See more »

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User Reviews

Life in an empty world
5 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Excellent, slow-paced, but rewarding film about a dead-end 20-year old and his extremely boring life in a small French town. Freddy is a young layabout who hangs around with his friends, rides his motorbike, and has rough sex with his girlfriend Marie.

This is probably the most interesting film I've ever seen about boredom. It has much in common with some of the films of Bresson, presenting an environment of extreme emptiness, all the while finding its own rhythm and feel.

Action-wise, this is up there with "The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick" (in other words, VERY little happens) and the director takes a few stabs at showing things in a non-judgmental/anthropological light (a la Shohei Immamura) with hardcore, clinical sex scenes and the gang's sometimes amoral attitudes, but in the end that isn't the direction the film heads in (thankfully).

This is an original and unusual vision in service of a story told with great strength and care. Dumont clearly knows what he is doing and he isn't copying anybody else.

The film shows the youngster's world as something of a void, but one not totally devoid of beauty. There are several transcendentally gorgeous moments of pure poetry in this film that really need to be experienced. Just look at the scene where young Kadder is hugged by Marie and he looks up at the sky. What a beautiful moment!! Definitely worth seeing, highly recommended. Although if you're an ADD-afflicted sort who can only stomach films that move like bullet trains, go look at something else.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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