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181 Ratings

Despite the Night

Malgré la nuit

Directed by Philippe Grandrieux
France, Canada, 2015
Drama, Avant-Garde


Lenz leaves England and returns to Paris in search of Madeleine who disappeared in uncertain circumstances. He meets Hélèna, a nurse still struggling with the loss of her infant son. Thus begins a fevered love story set against a backdrop of sorrow, passion, jealousy and self-destruction.

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Despite the Night Directed by Philippe Grandrieux
It’s la petite mort in slow motion. A volatile mix of agony and ecstasy that threatens to render both actors and audience unconscious by its final act.
May 13, 2016
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Though Despite the Night takes a relatively measured approach to the brutality, showing without moralising, it is still never able to escape the easy clichés of the images. Grandrieux’s focus on style and aesthetics as separated from politics and meaning here comes across as avoidance of history and of ethics, of the past in which everything becomes not just permissible but neutral.
March 19, 2016
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While Grandrieux’s fourth fiction feature continues his usual investigation into the limits of experience and range of cinematic possibilities, there’s also a strong willingness here to work along a more traditional narrative scheme. Not that Grandrieux has totally softened up. Malgré la Nuit still plays out like a sordid nightmare straight out of Georges Bataille’s imagination.
February 17, 2016
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