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The Barbarian Invasions (2003)

Les invasions barbares (original title)
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During his final days, a dying man is reunited with old friends, former lovers, his ex-wife, and his estranged son.



Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothée Berryman ...
Johanne-Marie Tremblay ...
Sister Constance Lazure (as Johanne Marie Tremblay)
Pierre Curzi ...
Pierre Citrouillard
Diane Leonard
Dominique Michel ...
Dominique St. Arnaud
Isabelle Blais ...
Toni Cecchinato ...
First Lover
Ghislaine (as Mitsou Gélinas)
Markita Boies ...
Nurse Suzanne


In this belated sequel to 'The Decline of the American Empire', 50-something Montreal college professor, Remy, learns that he is dying of liver cancer. He decides to make amends meet to his friends and family before he dies. He first tries to made peace with his ex-wife Louise, who asks their estranged son Sebastian, a successful businessman living in London, to come home. Sebastian makes the impossible happen, using his contacts and disrupting the entire Canadian system in every way possible to help his father fight his terminal illness to the bitter end, while he also tries to reunite his former friends, Pierre, Alain, Dominique, Diane, and Claude to see their old friend before he passes on. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A provocative new comedy about sex, friendship, and all other things that invade our lives.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual dialogue and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

5 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian Invasions  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,688,557 (France) (26 September 2003)


$3,432,342 (USA) (28 May 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


The position of the cars outside the window changes when Sébastien first meets Nathalie in the restaurant. See more »


Hospital Patient Assistant: [speaking English] Good morning, guys. Welcome to America.
Rémy: [in English; sarcastic] Praise the Lord.
Sébastien: [also sarcastic] Hallelujah.
See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


Music by Arvo Pärt
European American Music Distributors LLC representing Universal Editions A.G., Vienna
Performed by Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by Saulius Sondeckis
Album Lithany
(c) (p) 1996 ECM Records
Courtesy of ECM Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Very Good Movie about Death, Love, Life and a few more things..
23 January 2004 | by (Brazil) – See all my reviews

After reading all the comments I will not comment on the directors career or the failure of the Canadian health sytem. Instead I would like to point out that US viewers probably didn't enjoy the film as much since they don't have a failing health system, communists, many unions or as big a number of left leaning professors as other countries.

The film is a lot about this generation that went through the sexual revolution and their quirky (to us) leftist ideals and a greatly intelectualized generation. My parents generation and the one before it are full of "characters" just like Remy the dying father of the film. Most of them still hold on to their principles and ideals just like Remy.

The film contrasts the different generations, the apathetic junkie to the dying professor, the warm blooded and lusty veterans to the son's cold and practical fiancee. The anguish of loss vs commemorating a life well lived. Parents that feel they weren't present enough and a Son that barely knew his father.

I heartily recommend this film... 9/10

44 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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