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Headwinds (2011)
"Des vents contraires" (original title)

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Sarah tells Paul that she wants out of their marriage; the next day she disappears. A year later and Paul along with their children return to his childhood town to start anew after the loss of his wife and their mother.



(novel), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Anderen
Josée Combe
Antoine Duléry ...
Alex Anderen
Ramzy Bedia ...
Le déménageur
Monsieur Bréhel
Marie-Ange Casta ...
Justine Leblanc
Sarah Anderen
Daniel Duval ...
Xavier, l'éditeur
La mère de Yamine
Madame Pierson
Hugo Fernandes ...
Clément Anderen
Cassiopée Mayance ...
Manon Anderen
Commissaire Galland
Mélanie Leray ...
Laure Anderen
Azzedine Bouabba ...


Sarah tells Paul that she wants out of their marriage; the next day she disappears. A year later and Paul along with their children return to his childhood town to start anew after the loss of his wife and their mother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

14 December 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Contra el viento  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

28 December 2011 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

There's not enough good things one can say about this film, which is a perfect reflection of the misty gray-skied Breton beaches in which the action takes place: beautiful and sad. (That, incidentally, is how I feel about Brittany, personally.)

Benoît Magimel is splendid as Paul Anderen, a married father of two children whose wife Sarah has gone missing. We watch as pain and vulnerability creak into his natural masculinity and do not erase it, but challenge and rub up against it. Paul meets the challenge splendidly: his tender affection for and clear authoritative stance vis-à-vis his children and his friends prove that he is not, as a man, destroyed by his terrible experience.

How terrible? You almost have to have been through this kind of a loss to understand. The flashbacks to his married life are very poignant, and we know what he must be thinking: WHAT ABOUT MY LIFE? This was the woman FOR HIM, the one he gave up the freedom of his youth to build his adult life with. And now he wonders, will he have to build that life on his own?

And he DOES. All the while it is harder and he misses his wife, but he manages.

The film's portrayal of the public authority figures/civil servants--the public elementary school teacher and the police--is less than flattering: the institutions they serve come off as invasive, condescending and downright terrifying (actually, "terrorizing" would perhaps be a more appropriate word). Yet if you look closely, you can see that the individuals themselves are not so completely devoid of life, even if their good points tend to be masked by the bureaucratic monstrosities that hold their lifelines. When they step outside these boundaries, they shine so brilliantly.

A wonderful little treat! Highly recommended.

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