Under the Sand

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Sous le sable
Sous Le Sable.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrançois Ozon
Produced byOlivier Delbosc
Marc Missonnier
Written byFrançois Ozon
Emmanuèle Bernheim
StarringCharlotte Rampling
Bruno Cremer
Music byPhilippe Rombi
CinematographyAntoine Héberlé
Jeanne Lapoirie
Edited byLaurence Bawedin
Distributed byHaut et Court
Release date
  • 11 September 2000 (2000-09-11) (TIFF)
  • 7 February 2001 (2001-02-07) (France)
Running time
96 minutes

Under the Sand (French: Sous le sable, pronounced [su lə sɑbl]) is a 2000 French drama film directed and written by François Ozon. The film was nominated for three César Awards and was critically well received. It stars Charlotte Rampling and Bruno Cremer.


Marie, happily married to Jean for 25 years, is a lecturer in English literature at a Paris university. During their summer vacation in the southwest of France, Jean goes to swim in the sea while his wife is sunbathing and never returns, vanishing without trace. No body is found and several questions arise. Has he left her, committed suicide, drowned? With no body to mourn, she pretends that he is still alive and present in their apartment. Her life becomes characterized by denial, cloaked in enigmatic complexity and emotional disorientation. When the badly decomposed body is found in the sea and identified from dental records, she refuses to admit it is Jean. She imagines she will see him alive as he was on the beach.



The dramatic scenery at Mimizan


The film was shot in Paris and in the Landes department including Lit-et-Mixe, Mimizan-Plage beach and at Saint-Julien-en-Born.


Sous le sable was nominated for Best Film at the César Awards 2002. It also earned Best Director and Best Actress César nominations for Ozon and Rampling.


The plot of Sous le Sable bears some resemblance to that of the 1990 British romantic comedy Truly, Madly, Deeply.


The Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman admired Sous le sable, claimed that he watched the film several times.[1]


  1. ^ Bergman, Ingmar, and Raphael Shargel. Ingmar Bergman: Interviews. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 2007. 191.

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