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Chaos (2001) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
3 October 2001 (France) See more »
A bourgeois couple, modern yet conventional. One night by accident, a young prostitute barges into their lives... See more » | Add synopsis »
4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Well done, but preaches to the converted See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Vincent Lindon ... Paul

Catherine Frot ... Hélène
Rachida Brakni ... Noémie / Malika
Line Renaud ... Mamie

Aurélien Wiik ... Fabrice
Ivan Franek ... Touki
Michel Lagueyrie ... Marsat
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Pali (as Wojtek Pszoniak)
Eric Poulain ... Le jeune policier
Omar-Echériff Attalah ... Tarek
Hajar Nouma ... Zora

Chloé Lambert ... Florence
Marie Denarnaud ... Charlotte
Jean-Marc Stehlé ... Blanchet

Léa Drucker ... Nicole
Nicolas Serreau ... Le barman
Simon Bakhouche ... Henri
Jean-Loup Michou ... Type #1
Julie Durand ... Zoriza
Saïda Bekkouche ... Samia
Samir Djama ... Farid
Younesse Boudache ... Boudjemah
Claude Soula ... La surveillante
Valérie Flan ... L'infirmière réa. jour
Isabelle Sprung ... L'infirmière réa. nuit
Valérie Benguigui ... La femme médecin
Gilles Cohen ... L'homme médecin
Joachim Serreau ... Le livreur moto
Claude Barichasse ... Le collègue de Paul #1
Jacques Poitrenaud ... Le collègue de Paul #2
Jeronimo Ospina ... Un jeune au Forum
Vincent Branchet ... Raoul
David Gabison ... Le concierge au Lutetia
Hubert Delers ... Le monsieur à Genève
Hassan Haffar ... Type #2
Barbara Villesange ... L'assistante d'Hélène
Driss Bour ... Le fiancé d'Alger
Sylvie Lafontaine ... L'agent immobilier
Cosette Boutet de Monvel ... La veuve Blanchet
Marc Prin ... Le fils Blanchet
Rolf Hofmann ... Le banquier bâlois
Philippe Lecoin ... Le banquier au bistrot
Pierre Manganelli ... Le fondé de pouvoir
Slimane Hadjar ... Saïd 17 ans
Sébastien Monteiro ... Abdel 15 ans
Emilie Jumeaux ... La mère Maghreb
Sarah Aimad ... Noémie enfant
Yasmine Beldjouheur ... Zora enfant
Larbi Bouchikhi ... Farid enfant
Ryad Bouchikhi ... Boudjemah enfant
Adel Bentebbal ... Saïd bébé
Adam Bentebbal ... Abdel bébé
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Delphine Bibet ... Sitcom actress (uncredited)
Nader Boussandel ... Le policier en civil (uncredited)
Nicolas Lartigue ... Sitcom actor (uncredited)
David Merheb ... The Porter (uncredited)
Sylvie Raboutet ... Sitcom actress (uncredited)

Directed by
Coline Serreau 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Coline Serreau 

Produced by
Christine Gozlan .... executive producer
Alain Sarde .... producer
Cinematography by
Jean-François Robin 
Film Editing by
Catherine Renault 
Casting by
Dan Berthier 
Olivier Carbone 
Bruno Levy 
Production Design by
Michèle Abbé-Vannier  (as Michèle Abbé)
Costume Design by
Karen Muller Serreau  (as Karen Serreau)
Makeup Department
Mabi Anzalone .... makeup artist
Nathalie Champigny .... hair stylist
Gérald Portenart .... key hair stylist
Cornelia Quehenberger .... makeup artist
Pascal Thiollier .... makeup artist
Kaatje Van Damme .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Alain Barbaut .... unit manager
Alain Berger .... unit manager
David Boutin .... unit manager: Marseille
Alexandre Canton .... unit manager
Alain Centonze .... production manager
Heinz Dill .... unit production manager
Nicolas Fagard .... unit manager
Luis Fernandez .... unit manager
Nicolas Fraissinet .... unit manager
Patrice Lemoine .... unit manager
Frédéric Sevestre .... unit manager
Eric Simille .... unit manager
Aurélie Sterling .... unit manager
Emily Zinth de Kentzingen .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dominique Furgé .... first assistant director
Bérangère Gros .... first assistant director: sitcom sequence
Gil Rabier .... second assistant director
Samuel Tasinaje .... second unit director: sitcom sequence
Art Department
William Clément .... props
Jean-Claude Davignon .... propman: furniture
Michel Grimaud .... property master
Georges Mougine .... upholsterer (as Georges Mouginé)
Fabien Raymondaud .... props
Marc Sausset .... assistant art director
Catherine Werner Schmit .... set decorator (as Catherine Werner-Schmidt)
Sound Department
Fabien Adelin .... foley recordist
Fabien Basteni .... sound recordist
Damien Bera .... sound recordist
Martin Boissau .... assistant sound
Martin Boissau .... boom operator
Martin Boissau .... post-synchronization boom operator
Laurent Boudaud .... post-synchronization recordist
Julie Clemencin .... assistant sound editor
Rémy Frappa-Denis .... sound: sitcom sequence
Tristan Jaoul .... sound recordist
Jonathan Liebling .... foley artist
Pierre Lorrain .... sound
Anne Maisonhaute .... sound recordist
Michel Monier .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Muriel Moreau .... sound
Jean-Max Morise .... post-synchronization
Antoine Poulet .... assistant sound: sitcom sequence
Joël Rangon .... sound
Christian Riffard .... audio post-production
Christophe Vingtrinier .... sound mixer
Visual Effects by
Alain Chene .... scanning & film recording assistant
Nicolas Criqui .... digital lineup
Thierry Flament .... visual effects
Arassou Kichenassamy .... scanning & film recording assistant
Sarah Moreau .... digital artist
Gérard Soirant .... scanning and recording
Carole Vasseur .... visual effects administrator
Carole Vasseur .... visual effects coordinator
Affif Ben Badra .... stunts
Michel Bouis .... stunts
William Cagnard .... stunts
Gilles Conseil .... stunt coordinator
Gilles Conseil .... stunts
Alain Guerillot .... stunts
Pascal Guégan .... stunts
Christian Hening .... stunts
Emilie Jumeaux .... stunts
Marcel Labbaye .... stunts
Claire Leroy .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric Baraillon .... gaffer
Emmanuel Broto .... assistant camera: Marseille
Jerome Foures .... camera operator: sitcom sequence
Pierric Gantelmi d'Ille .... camera operator
Emilie de la Hosseraye .... still photographer
Marc Nove .... electrician (as Marc Nové)
Olivier Ruan .... cinematographer: sitcom sequence
Damien Tessandier .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Casting Department
Dorothée Crouail .... extras casting assistant
Christophe Galeazzi .... extras casting assistant
Sylvain Raymond .... casting: Geneva
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Emmanuelle Pertus .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Julie Decondé .... second assistant editor
Richard Deusy .... color timer: video
Marcela Figueroa .... first assistant editor
Mélanie Mourey .... second assistant editor
Bruno Patin .... color timer
Christian Riffard .... post-production video
Nicole Souchal .... post-production assistant
Music Department
Valérie Lindon .... executive music producer
Transportation Department
Roland Godard .... driver
Other crew
Stephane Basset .... unit production manager: Marseille
Pilar Billiet .... script supervisor
Stéphane Bourdon .... arms master
Raphaëlle Bruyas .... set assistant
Jean-Pierre Chevallier .... location scout
Laure Darie .... production secretary
Martine Demierre .... production assistant: Geneva
Heinz Dill .... production coordinator: Switzerland
Pierre Foury .... special effects properties
Xavier Grin .... unit production manager: Switzerland
Etienne Levallois .... location scout
Yann Nerot .... administrator
Yann Nerot .... production administrator
Laurent Renard .... press attache
Dominique Segall .... press attache
Myriam Segall .... location scout
Joachim Serreau .... set assistant
Pablo Tosin .... unit manager: Basel
John Galliano .... thanks
R. Jeanneret .... thanks
Ch. Perriano .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:MA | France:U | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:15 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud)

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Well done, but preaches to the converted, 11 May 2003
Author: Dan Heller ( from

It has been said that satire should be like a very sharp razor blade: you don't know you've been cut until you see the blood. The same thing can be said of movies with a social agenda: it's better if you don't see it coming, which makes it all the more effective when it's over. If only filmmakers that preach their social or political views had a better sense of knowing when to stop `preaching', and let the audience draw their own conclusions, we'd have more movies with positive social messages.

Case in point is the film, `Chaos', by Coline Serreau, who presents a fairy tail story that celebrates, glorifies and idolizes the strength and perseverance of women in a male-dominated society. The main plot revolves around two women: Helene, an upper-middle class French woman, and Malika, a young prostitute. The two meet when Helene and her husband accidentally encounter Malika being violently attacked by a group of men. The couple witness this from inside their car, but the husband doesn't want to help or have anything to do with the girl, who's been left for dead. Helene, overwhelmed with guilt, decides to visits Malika in the hospital, against her husband's strict instructions. As Malika slowly regains consciousness, and her physical strength returns, the women grow closer, and the story behind the mysterious heroine unfolds. And, like a blooming flower, so does the magnitude of the story line, which becomes far too complicated to summarize here. (It's also far more involved than it needed to be for the plot or social commentary.)

Suffice to say, the story is all about Malika's and all the female characters' struggles to find individuality and freedom from under the thumb of the men in their lives. But the film doesn't stop there - it also makes observations (and hence, commentary) about French society, Muslim cultures, and a variety of other aspects of modern life. Attempting to serve all these objectives, the film tends to meander from one character to another, and one political statement to another, so it can squeeze it all in. This ends up overcomplicating things to a minor degree, but in the end, the movie is really all about women and their plight, and the movie makes no excuses or apologies about that.

For Helene, it's as simple as her leaving her good-for-nothing, ego-centric husband. For Malika, though, her first barrier is her patriarchic Muslim family, who stymied her attempts to educate herself or make a better life. Then it's her father, who tried to sell her to a man in Algeria for marriage. When she ran away just before her scheduled departure, she found herself under the influence of a pimp, who forced her into prostitution, drugged and raped her, and beat her relentlessly, over and over. Things get worse and worse for all the women in the film, major and minor characters alike, until things come to a head, when (surprise) all women come together and win, and all the men lose in a big, big way.

The film's use of satire is exaggeration and extremes, but you don't necessarily see that in one character alone, but all the characters as a collective. All the men are evil, and all the women are glorified. This use of two-dimensional character portrayal gives away the otherwise obvious moral agenda of the film; it also draws attention to the unsophisticated satirical vehicles normally employed by much less experienced filmmakers. It's almost as though Serreau gets so lost in her own agenda that she forgets the true nature of cutting satire. When events develop so transparently and obviously, you can't help but know that this film is only trying to preach to the converted.

Effective satire is about making acute and keen observations of real people, subtly leading us to the filmmaker's desired conclusions, all the while letting us think we got there on our own. We need to see at least one of the heroines lose because the sad reality is that not all women leave the men that subjugate them--we need to be reminded of that not just for the dose of reality for credibility's sake, but it accentuates the emotional impact of the victories of the women that do overcome their barriers. Similarly, one of the bad guys should be portrayed as changing his ways so as to draw more attention to those who don't. Serreau's problem is that she can't accept a character losing. This, in itself, compromises credibility. As Shakespeare once said, `thou doest protest too loudly.'

There's no question that `Chaos' will win the hearts and minds of women who feel victimized, or who seek the camaraderie of seeing strong women win on screen. But it's almost sad to see them rally around what is essentially a vacuous film that doesn't carry the more cogent message it could have been so much more effective at giving. I guess it's my way of saying, `preaching to the converted isn't hard. Leave that to the amateurs.'

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