3 user 18 critic

Despite the Night (2015)

Malgré la nuit (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 6 July 2016 (France)
Lenz returns to Paris to find his only true love, Madeleine. As his search for her continues, he finds himself getting sucked into the dark and cruel underworld of the porn industry.


John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay), Philippe Grandrieux (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Kristian Marr Kristian Marr ... Lenz
Ariane Labed ... Hélène
Roxane Mesquida ... Lena
Paul Hamy ... Louise / Lenz's friend
Johan Leysen ... Vitali
Sam Louwyck ... L'homme à la voix métallique
Aurélien Recoing ... Paul / Hélène's husband
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anna Agostini Anna Agostini
Jonathan Boudina Jonathan Boudina ... Dandy
Jonathan Mickael Hartel Boudina Jonathan Mickael Hartel Boudina ... Audience member
Christopher Buchholz
Gabrielle Lazure ... La Mère
Pierre Nisse ... Pute
Lola Norda Lola Norda ... Lola
Floran Royer ... Audience Member (as Wyatt Alexander)


After living in the North of England, Lenz returns to Paris, the city where he stayed for some time. He learns the strange disappearance of his mother, Madeleine and sets out to find her. For help, he can count on his friend, Louis. He meets Hélène who has lived in Paris for years. She is German and works as a nurse and married to Paul. She does not recover from the death of her child. This personal drama shook the couple. Paul is still in love with her but, bruised and feeling misunderstood, she has moved away. To forget her grief, she physically hurts herself. He also meets young Léna, a singer who has an overprotective father. She is Louis' girlfriend but she wants to live with Lenz, but he refuses her. This makes her very jealous. Written by Unifrance

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

Malgré la nuit, the light shines through night...
10 September 2017 | by EyesWideClockworkSee all my reviews

Malgré la nuit



In my mind, Malgré la nuit has made a nest; it is there..

Grandrieux's film, one notices straight away, is very delicately handled, regardless of the subject matter

The film exists in a dark, conceptual nightmare for it's inhabitants; a psychotic and weary, harrowed existence

The characters are crowded in by blank space, dark matter, trying to reach for the light, but succumbed to the night. The environment is claustrophobic, tight, reflecting their mindset; there is no outside living world, merely an underworld; the characters move silently through the black fog like wraiths, the living dead; demented, torturous, but trying to grasp at the threads of their existence

Grandrieux casts a spell, he conjures a mystical energy; he shrouds the world in darkness, a fugue


The characters wonder through this nightmarish landscape, without knowing their future, without knowing anything, merely pray to the night

There is a dark, strange atmosphere here..an almost magical dreamscape; accented more through the parts of abstraction and layers, the singer, who words become her life; they rumble around her, they rumble in the environment; they shatter the screen and all the lives of these characters

The characters engage in small episodes of love and passion, but, it is only a small act against the backdrop of corruption and destruction

Bodies float and linger; old bodies, young bodies; bodies blindly sharp and clear, float off, into a dark vortex of nothingness, out of focus, gone. Grandrieux grabs our soul through bodies, between bodies, the space between us, bodies it; shining souls lost in an apocalyptic world

Malgré la nuit is a land scape for the desolation of the soul

The brutal forging of sadomasochistic dreams, desire; nasty, primal; man revealed as an animal, primordial aggression and anger Extreme close-ups, blurred; the shaking of human life in it's darkest state; desolate; the evaporation of the soul; suicidal, self-destructive

Yet, at times, through all this hate, annihilation, there is hope in this twirled web of black life; moments of beauty, euphoric moments; passion overbears. Lenz and the characters must fight against the overcoming tide of darkness.

Moments lost in time, an elemental scene of beauty in song

Angst, passion, tears; throbbing sounds into the opaque, somber landscape and soundscape Astral, primal, entities, bodies, shifting shapes; the divine, eternal, elysian

As much as anything, Malgré la nuit reveals the dark undergrowth of the world like Irreversible; the dark twilight state where goodness sleeps, and the evil dark reigns Paris is transformed into an otherworldly dimension

The power of love elevates, but also chains us, bring us to our knees in our mind, for the passion burns in us like a ferocious fire, love potentially leading us into black, toxic flames; for we throw ourselves to the flames; we must fall and let ourselves fall to reach calm stillness.

As much as finding others, it is a journey for Lenz and the others to find their soul, themselves; a celestial taking, celestial beings

Beauty, love; to love so strongly is a force of power...

"Everything fades, even suffering, everything disappears"


The fish is used as an analogy, yet is no less profound; the fish, moves slowly, only thinks about moving around the box; caved in, yet ultimately fulfilled. If we slowed like fish, perhaps life would be easier. They think about only on thing, are clearer in mind; they can live happily, yet this is impossible for humanity, as we are too far past forward As the character says, because we know we're going to die, and the fish doesn't.

Malgré la nuit is an intense, cathartic experience; a blinding astonishing light, a profound shock

Through the darkness, there is still poignancy and humanity; in the face of brutality

For Grandrieux, there is hope here, perhaps one of his most hopeful films; there is hope for our characters, light notes upon a dark sonata

It is also a spiritual undertaking, more so one of the most spiritual films for Grandriex

Despite The Night, there is light and beauty; cries and screams thunder through the night, fire, yet colors of ochre gold and light will shine....

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English | French

Release Date:

6 July 2016 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Apesar da Noite See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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