Life Is a Long Quiet River

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Life Is a Long Quiet River
La Vie est un long fleuve tranquille.jpg
Film poster
Directed byÉtienne Chatiliez
Produced by
Written by
  • Étienne Chatiliez
  • Florence Quentin
Music byGérard Kawczynski
CinematographyPascal Lebègue
Edited byChantal Delattre
Distributed byMK2 Diffusion
Release date
  • 3 February 1988 (1988-02-03)
Running time
90 minutes
Box office$30.7 million[1]

Life Is a Long Quiet River (French: La Vie est un long fleuve tranquille) is a 1988 French comedy film directed by Étienne Chatiliez


In a maternity clinic two children from families with completely different social backgrounds are switched at birth. One goes on to live in an upper-middle-class family while the other to a poor family. Twelve years later, the mistake is discovered and the child living with the poor family is taken back by his parents, but keeps in touch with his former family and makes them encounter his new brothers and sisters. A series of satirical and comedic scenes follow.


Cult status[edit]

Due in part to the film's being shown on French television rather often, it has gained a sort of cult following among young French people. The song 'Jésus Reviens' sung at church in the film is instantly recognisable to many French youth as a key example of the film's many satirical digs at the French Catholic bourgeois culture in the era it was filmed.

The 2009 film Neuilly sa mère ! was heavily influenced by Life is a Long Quiet River.[2][3][4]


The film received 7 nominations at the César Awards :

Award Category Recipient Result
César Award Best Supporting Actress Hélène Vincent Won
Most Promising Actress Catherine Jacob Won
Best First Feature Film Étienne Chatiliez Won
Best Writing Étienne Chatiliez
Florence Quentin
Best Film Étienne Chatiliez Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Patrick Bouchitey Nominated
Best Costume Design Elisabeth Tavernier Nominated


  1. ^
  2. ^ ""Neuilly sa mère": Dans la misère des banlieues riches (Neuilly sa mère: in the misery of rich suburbs)". Le Monde. 2009-08-11.
  3. ^ Aubron, Arnaud (2009-08-12). "" Neuilly sa mère " : le cinéma est un long fleuve tranquille (Neuilly sa mère: cinema is a long quiet river)". Rue 89. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  4. ^ Chahine, Marwan (2009-08-13). "" Neuilly sa mère ! ", un Groseille chez Sarko". Libération. Retrieved 2010-09-24.

External links[edit]