Carne (1991 film)

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Directed byGaspar Noé
Written byGaspar Noé
StarringPhilippe Nahon
Blandine Lenoir
CinematographyDominique Colin
Edited byLucile Hadžihalilović
Les Cinémas de la Zone
Distributed byAction Gitanes
Release date
Running time
40 minutes

Carne is a 1991 French drama film written and directed by Gaspar Noé, starring Philippe Nahon and Blandine Lenoir. It tells the story of a horse butcher with a mute daughter. At a running time of 40 minutes, it was the first longer film directed by Noé. The narrative was continued in Noé's 1998 full-length debut, I Stand Alone.


A nameless horse butcher, whose wife left him soon after their mute daughter was born, operates his own business while trying to raise the daughter. Despite the fact that she has become a teenager, the butcher continues to wash her like a baby, and struggles to resist the temptation of committing incest. On the day of the daughter's menstruation, the butcher misinterprets the situation and assumes that she has been raped by a worker, whom he immediately seeks out and stabs as revenge. The butcher is imprisoned for the assault and is forced to sell his butcher shop and apartment. After he leaves prison (having sexual relations with his cell mate, Gerard), he is unable to meet his daughter, who has ended up in a mental hospital, and is forced to work for a woman who runs a bar. He and the bar owner end up in a relationship that he hates, and she ends up pregnant. He meets his daughter in the mental hospital, and leaves, frustrated with his life and how it has turned out.


  • Philippe Nahon as The Butcher
  • Blandine Lenoir as The Butcher's Daughter
  • Frankye Pain as The Butcher's Mistress
  • Hélène Testud as The Maid


The film was produced through Gaspar Noé and his girlfriend Lucile Hadžihalilović's company Les Cinémas de la Zone. It was shot in 16 mm CinemaScope which was blown up to 35 mm.[1] An instrumental version the song "Ahwak", composed by the 20th-century Egyptian singer and composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab and originally sung by the Egyptian singer and actor Abdel Halim Hafez, plays when the halal butchery is first shown in the film.


The film premiered in the short film section of the 1991 International Critics' Week in Cannes.[2] It won the top prize in its section, as well as the Georges Sadoul Prize and the Prix Très Special.[1] Carne was eventually given a theatrical release in France and started a trend of theatrical distribution for films with similar length.[1]

References in other media[edit]

Johnny Weeks describes the beginning of the film Carne in "Hard Cases", the fourth episode of the second season of the TV series The Wire.


  1. ^ a b c Nesselson, Lisa (20 January 1999). "Gaspar Noe". Variety. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  2. ^ "30th selection of La Semaine de la critique – 1991". International Critics' Week. Retrieved 22 June 2011.

External links[edit]