Les Innocents (film)

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Les Innocents
Les Innocents, film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by André Téchiné
Produced by Philippe Carcassonne
Alain Terzian
Written by Pascal Bonitzer
André Téchiné
Starring Sandrine Bonnaire
Simon de La Brosse
Abdel Kechiche
Jean-Claude Brialy
Music by Philippe Sarde
Cinematography Renato Berta
Edited by Martine Giordano
Release date(s) 23 December 1987
Running time 100 min
Country France
Language French

Les Innocents (English: The Innocents) is a 1987 French drama film directed by André Téchiné and starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Simon de La Brosse and Abdel Kechiche. The plot follows a girl who, whilst looking for her runaway brother, encounters a number of people who influence her life. The film was partially inspired by a William Faulkner novel. Téchiné uses several French-Arab relationships to mirror the mirror the tensions between France and its former colonies.

Jean-Claude Brialy won a César award for Best Supporting Actor and the film was nominated for three other César awards: Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Music.


Jeanne, a young woman born and raised in Northern France, is visiting the Mediterranean for the first time. She arrives at the southern French seaport of Toulon to attend the wedding of her older sister Maïté to Nourredine, a north African. However, her main goal is to repatriate her deaf-mute younger brother Alain with whom she had been living following the death of their parents. Alain, however has run away with Saïd, a French man of Algerian descent who approached Jeanne on her arrival in the city. Alain supports himself as a pickpocket under the tutelage of Saïd. Jeanne must therefore locate her brother.

Jeanne's first lead in finding her brother is the struggling orchestra conductor Klotz, a bisexual older man who is infatuated with Saïd. When Jeanne visits Klotz's luxurious beach-side villa she meets Klot'z son Stéphane, who is recovering from a coma, and Stéphane's overbearing mother, Myrian.

When Jeanne finds Alain, she moves into the modest hotel he shares with Saïd, which is run by a repatriated Pied-Noir from Algeria. At the same time Jeanne starts a relationship with Stéphane, but there is a secret link between Stéphane and Saïd. Saïd takes Jeanne to see a burns victim and reveals to her that Stéphane had once been part of a far right racist gang which had set fire to an immigrant hostel, and was later stabbed by Saïd in revenge.

During a brief stay in Algeria, Saïd telephones Stéphane to tell him of the night he has spent with Jeanne, which motivates Stéphane to denounce Saïd to the racist gang. However, Stéphane catches up with Saïd and warns him not to go back to the hotel. Saïd, however, drags Stéphane with him and they are both shot dead. The film ends with Jeanne staring at the two bodies.



The lines between love, sex, and politics become hopelessly blurred in this French drama. Jeanne finds herself torn between the two men a French and a North African in a romantic and sexual dilemma that mirrors France's political turmoil regarding the nation's growing Arab population.


It was nominated to four César Awards: Best Film; Best Director; Best original music and Jean-Claude Brialy's performance in this film earned him a Best Supporting Actor award from the French Academy of Cinema.

DVD release[edit]

Les Innocents is available in Region 2 DVD. It was released in France.


External links[edit]