6.8/10
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15 user 27 critic

How I Killed My Father (2001)

Comment j'ai tué mon père (original title)
When his long-time disappeared father is entering his life again, Jean-Luc, a successful doctor, has no option but to face his own life story. Will he ever be able to forget and forgive?

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maurice
...
Jean-Luc
...
Isa
...
Myriem
Stéphane Guillon ...
Patrick
Hubert Koundé ...
Jean-Toussaint
Karole Rocher ...
Laetitia
Marie Micla ...
The Prostitute
Nicole Evans ...
The Female Patient
Philippe Lehembre ...
Homeless Guy / Elderly Patient
Pierre Londiche ...
Isa's Father
Jean-Christophe Lemberton ...
Cyril
Manoëlle Gaillard ...
Isa's Mother
Etienne Louvet ...
Myriem's Son
Claude Koener ...
The Official
Edit

Storyline

Jean-Luc is an established gerontologist who can do no wrong; he runs a private clinic specialising in anti-ageing treatments. Honoured for his work in this field, he throws a garden party at his home. It is during this social event that his father suddenly reappears, back after a long exile. A physician, he had left decades earlier without any apparent reason to practice in Africa. He moves into his son's home for several days, phlegmatically observing everything with an enigmatic smile. He peruses Jean-Luc's life and environment with cruel objectivity. The arrival of this interloper father, who everyone thought had disappeared for good, shatters the family microcosm: Jean-Luc doesn't know how to take him, as if the memory - or the resentment - was nothing but lost time; his wife becomes fond of this highly unconventional man; after first refusing to deal with him, Jean-Luc's younger brother strikes up a modest bond with him. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

19 September 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

How I Killed My Father  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,480 (USA) (23 August 2002)

Gross:

$7,480 (USA) (23 August 2002)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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User Reviews

 
A marvelous psychological meditation that mystifies and reveals
25 September 2002 | by (Santa Monica, CA) – See all my reviews

The pace, the images, the characters in this film are deliciously meditative...and although universal in its content, very French in its presentation. Not a film for Americans who want an action-packed, easily accessible narrative. But those who enjoy an intelligent exploration of relationships at a deep even profound level will find this movie to their liking.

The basic line sets up the life of a very successful gerontologist, dealing in anti-aging methods, married to a beautiful, compliant young woman and also involved sexually with his attractive assistant. When he receives a letter telling him his father, who has been a doctor in Africa and deserted his family many years ago, has died, we are given a revery from his imagination. In this reflection, his father appears at his elegant home and the rest of the film explores the son's complex relationship and emotions relative to what he believes these might be, should his father actually show up. A very interesting devise...using classic projection and giving us the challenging question "What is real and what is imagined".

The cast is superb...with special kudos to Michael Bouquet and Charles Berling, the leads.

I recently saw "Life As A House"...and while the performances were fine...the movie itself...dealing again with a father-son relationship...was such a mish-mash of extraneous characters, the real focus and profundity were lost in the Hollywood glitter of it all. This Anne Fontaine film keeps the color so wonderfully subdued, almost a sense of black and white, that the visual aspect is moodily effective and appropriate to its theme.


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