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Life Kills Me (2002) More at IMDbPro »Vivre me tue (original title)


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Jack-Alain Léger (novel)
Jean-Pierre Sinapi (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
18 June 2003 (France) See more »
Based on Jack-Alain Léger's novel, this drama focuses on Paul and Daniel, two different brothers of North African origin... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
life will kill you (Warren Zevon) See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

Sami Bouajila ... Paul Smaïl
Jalil Lespert ... Daniel Smaïl

Sylvie Testud ... Myriam
Simon Bakinde ... Diop
Roger Ibáñez ... Monsieur Louis
Teco Celio ... Le père de Myriam (as Téco Celio)
Marc Andréoni ... Monsieur Benny
Djemel Barek ... Tarik
Philippe Duclos ... Mr. Suard
Xavier De Guillebon ... DRC Aligrofarm
Lucien Longueville ... Monsieur Barthas
François Sinapi ... Pequod
Tassadit Mandi ... La mère Smaïl
Mohamed Benguettaf ... Le père Smaïl (as M'hamed Benguettaf)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Baptiste Anoumon
Nadège Beausson-Diagne
Saïda Bekkouche
Ségolène Bonnet (as Ségolène Fleur Bonnet)
Brigitte Böttrich
Paula Chevallet
Judith Compes
Erwan Creignou
Patrice-Luc Doumeyrou
Saad-Eddine Elandaloussi
Tobias Fischer ... Süleyman (as Tobias Raja Fischer)
Ben Alexander Hussock
Nadia Kaci
Kader Kada (as Kada)
Françoise Lebas
Annette Lowcay ... La mère Myriam
Jean-Pierre Léonardini
Nadine Marcovici ... Psychologue DRH
Frédéric Mompo ... Julien
Annabelle Morelle
Florian Morelle
Michem Moumine
Mohamed Ourdache
Bobby Pacha
Kaddour Riad
Mohamed Sababou
Marte Schwiers (as Marthe Schwiers)
Veit Stübner ... Garcon Brasserie

Geoffroy Thiébaut ... DRH Aligrofarm
Victoria Trauttmansdorff (as Victoria Von Trautmansdorff)

Arnaud Xainte

Ramin Yazdani

Till Kraemer ... Athlete (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean-Pierre Sinapi 
Writing credits
Jack-Alain Léger (novel) (as Paul Smaïl)

Jean-Pierre Sinapi (screenplay) &
Daniel Tonachella (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael André .... co-producer: WDR
Karl Baumgartner .... associate producer
Nina Bohlmann .... executive producer: Germany
Jean-Pierre Fayer .... executive producer
Raimond Goebel .... associate producer
Babette Schröder .... executive producer: Germany
Fabienne Servan-Schreiber .... producer
Original Music by
Louis Sclavis 
Cinematography by
Pierre Aïm 
Jean-Paul Meurisse 
Film Editing by
Catherine Schwartz 
Costume Design by
Eve-Marie Arnault 
Makeup Department
Sophie Benaiche .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Guido Bohlmann .... production manager
Denys Fleutot .... production manager
Olivier Jacob .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frédéric Gérard .... first assistant director
Sébastien Tézé .... third assistant director
Sound Department
Hervé Buirette .... sound re-recording mixer
Jean-Michel Chauvet .... sound
Sylvain Girardeau .... boom operator
François Groult .... sound mixer
Philippe Lauliac .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Pedro Marques .... synchronization sound engineer
Corinne Rozenberg .... sound editor
Visual Effects by
Fabien Girodot .... digital artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Catherine Georges .... assistant camera
Romain Lacourbas .... second assistant camera
Jean-Paul Meurisse .... camera operator
Helmut Prein .... gaffer
Joachim Scholz .... dolly grip: Germany
Editorial Department
Chrystel Alépée .... assistant editor
Location Management
Ilse Töpfer .... location scout
Other crew
Barbara Constantine .... script supervisor
Gordana Fleutot .... production administrator
Nicolas Saada .... script consultant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Vivre me tue" - France (original title)
See more »
Germany:86 min (Filmfest Hamburg) | Spain:89 min (San Sebastian Film Festival)
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
life will kill you (Warren Zevon), 4 February 2007
Author: dbdumonteil

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Paul (Sami Bouajila) and Daniel Smaïl (Jalil Lespert) are two close-knit brothers who have trouble to do their own walks of life. In spite of his literature PhD on Moby Dick, Paul can't find a highly qualified work and has to rely on lowly jobs such as a pizza delivery man and a night watchman. He makes the acquaintance of a young woman who is unsure of herself, Myriam (Sylvie Testud) who has exams to be a university professor. As for his brother Daniel, he embarks on an intensive training based on body building and appears in peep-shows. Both of them struggle hard to get by.

After his father's death, one of Paul's friends (the black taxi driver) says to him about his life: "you should pen a novel about it. It would sell well". "Vivre me Tue" is derived from an autobiographical book and some of the first lines are recited by Paul at the tail end of the film. The director Jean-Pierre Sinapi kept the essential unifying thread of this vibrating novel and removed some episodes linked to Paul's troubled childhood and adolescence. In his previous movie, "Nationale 7" (2000), the director had lingered on a community of disabled people and had erased everything likely to make them "different" to other human beings. Here, he lays the focus on a trio of young people who seem different to the world that surrounds them. About Myriam, one of her friends says to Paul that when she was young, she felt isolated and used to cry often. Maybe, she felt herself inferior to the others and led her to rejection which may explain her lack of trust in herself. For Paul and Daniel, difference comes from their origins and their patronymics. However, both have their own talents to show and mature. But for Paul, the features aforementioned above stop him from integrating himself in society. Anyway, does he sincerely wish to have a more than proper job and so to follow the herd in society? Shouldn't he follow his writing dreams through as Myriam advises him? As for Daniel, his perilous body building training might take a dangerous direction.

Jean-Pierre Sinapi keeps a strong proximity with his trio of actors. He almost makes himself their accomplice and his film hasn't really the look of a despondent one. It's more a bracing, feel good vibe that he manages to create. Fondness and humor haven't been forgotten like the moment when Myriam reveals to Paul that she's brilliant at a written test but feels puzzled at an oral test. Another funny moment is Paul's persuasive efforts to pronounce his name like "smile" at job interviews.

Needless to add that the film is also buoyed with stamina by the threesome of actors. Jalil Lespert's physical transformation is breathtaking. As for Sylvie Testud, once again, she gives the impression that she "lives" more than she acts her role which constitutes a strong asset. Sami Bouajila matches her with easiness. Thanks to them, it's a movie I would want to watch again and again.

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