On War (film)

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On War
Affiche-On War (film) .jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bertrand Bonello
Produced by Bertrand Bonello
Kristina Larsen
Written by Bertrand Bonello
Starring Mathieu Amalric
Asia Argento
Music by Bertrand Bonello
Cinematography Josée Deshaies
Edited by Fabrice Rouaud
Distributed by Ad Vitam Distribution
Release dates
  • 17 May 2008 (2008-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 1 October 2008 (2008-10-01) (France)
Running time
130 minutes
Country France
Language French

On War (French: De la guerre) is a 2008 French comedy-drama film directed by Bertrand Bonello and starring Mathieu Amalric. The cast also includes Laurent Lucas, Guillaume Depardieu, Asia Argento, Michel Piccoli and Léa Seydoux. The title loosely refers to the treatise On War, by Carl von Clausewitz.


Bertrand (Mathieu Amalric), a film director, is conducting research for his latest film, and asks a funeral director if he can stay back at his funeral parlour after the close of business. Bertrand cannot resist getting into a coffin, and accidentally knocks the lid down, locking himself in the coffin.

When Bertrand is released from the coffin in the morning, it is clear he has been profoundly affected by the experience. He considers hiring a prostitute, but cancels after watching a scene from David Cronenberg's film, eXistenZ. He returns to the funeral parlour in the evening, where a strange man breaks into the funeral parlour with him. After asking Bertrand to describe his experience the previous night, the man eventually takes Bertrand to a mansion, headquarters to what appears to be a cult. Although the cult has militaristic aspects, it also seems to be devoted to pleasure.

Bertrand is gradually drawn deeper and deeper into the cult.


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