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Death in the Seine (1989)

Historical drownings in the Seine are catalogued, dissected and elaborated, with multilayered visuals and 'documentary' asides.


Peter Greenaway


Peter Greenaway




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Franco Alan Franco ... Narrator (voice)
Jean-Michel Dagory Jean-Michel Dagory ... Bouille
Jim van der Woude Jim van der Woude ... Daude
Hans Verbrugge Hans Verbrugge ... Jacques Chevreuil
Denis Verkroese Denis Verkroese ... André Ribrot
Roos Peters Roos Peters ... Jeanne Geneviève Valiton
Arie Van Vliet Arie Van Vliet ... Pierre François Denis
Michelle Guerts Michelle Guerts ... Louise Emilie Charlotte Harmand
Jan Remkes Jan Remkes ... Pierre Jean Le Roy
Micke Mink Micke Mink ... Marie Topinard
Gerard van Lavieren Gerard van Lavieren ... Nicolas Julien Doguet
Lars Crama Lars Crama ... Guillaume Rene Guerin
Leonie Beverloo Leonie Beverloo ... Monique Constance Manin
Winsred Zotsch Winsred Zotsch ... Jean Pierre Pascal Dauzet
Adrian van der Elzen Adrian van der Elzen ... Jean Baptiste Langlasse


Historical drownings in the Seine are catalogued, dissected and elaborated, with multilayered visuals and 'documentary' asides.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | History


Did You Know?


Director Peter Greenaway has stated that although he didn't set out to have the actors playing the corpses move about, he didn't mind when they did, because on one level the film is about people only pretending to be dead, and that the movements just helped reinforce that. See more »


Referenced in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) See more »

User Reviews

Etudes on Corpses
24 July 2000 | by tedgSee all my reviews

The remarkable Greenaway is most successful when his scope is constrained and most intriguing when he works in the large. This is a small work, and lovely.

A number of drowning victims are described from the coroner's notes and exquisitely photographed. If viewing nude corpses bothers you, this might not be your thing. But remembrances of these people are frangible, just as we will be remembered or not.

The period is right after the French Revolution where a new calendar was briefly used. As the calendar became obsolete, the time of their endlives and deaths can be said to not exist. This allowed Greenaway to bring their past lives back into `real' history.

The views of their bodies are so evocative that perhaps we give them a richer existence than they ever knew themselves.

As this is a video production, Greenaway can afford complex visual overlayering. Also, as this is contemporaneous with `Drowning by Numbers' one wonders about the linkages. Enriches both films.

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France | Netherlands



Release Date:

7 April 1991 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Death in the Seine See more »

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