The Salt of Tears

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The Salt of Tears
FrenchLe Sel des larmes
Directed byPhilippe Garrel
Produced byEdouard Weil
Written by
Music byJean-Louis Aubert
CinematographyRenato Berta
Edited byFrançois Gédigier
Rectangle Productions
Distributed byWild Bunch
Release date
  • 22 February 2020 (2020-02-22) (Berlin)
  • 17 June 2020 (2020-06-17) (France)
Running time
100 minutes
  • France
  • Switzerland

The Salt of Tears (French: Le Sel des larmes) is a 2020 drama film directed by Philippe Garrel.[1][2] It stars Logann Antuofermo, Oulaya Amamra, Louise Chevillotte, Souheila Yacoub, and André Wilms.[3] It tells the story of a young man who falls in love with three women. The film had its world premiere in the Competition section at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on 22 February 2020.[4] It will be released in France on 17 June 2020.[5]


An aspiring carpenter Luc travels to Paris to take the examination for a joinery school. He has a brief relationship with Djemila. Subsequently, he goes back to his rural hometown, where he lives with his father. Luc sleeps with his former girlfriend Geneviève. He moves to Paris and falls in love with another woman Betsy.


  • Logann Antuofermo as Luc
  • Oulaya Amamra as Djemila
  • Louise Chevillotte as Geneviève
  • Souheila Yacoub as Betsy
  • André Wilms as Luc's father
  • Martin Mesnier as Paco
  • Teddy Chawa as Jean-René
  • Aline Belibi as Alice


The film was co-written by Philippe Garrel with his longtime collaborators Arlette Langmann and Jean-Claude Carrière.[6] Principal photography began on 2 April 2019.[7]


The film had its world premiere in the Competition section at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on 22 February 2020.[4] It will be released in France on 17 June 2020.


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 71% based on 6 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.1/10.[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable mixed or average reviews".[9]

Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a grade of B, commenting that "there's an undeniable allure to the way the movie hovers in an ambiguous space between Luc's passions and their problematic connotations."[10] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing, "It is a watchable, insouciant love story with some great incidental performances, although there is a sense of the shark being jumped 30 minutes from the end."[11] Boyd van Hoeij of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Though set in the present, the grainy black-and-white images and [Jean-Louis] Aubert's familiar-sounding, piano-led score again lend the story something timeless."[12] Meanwhile, Diego Semerene of Slant Magazine gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars, writing, "[Philippe] Garrel illustrates the absurdity behind the myth of the complementary couple with the same cynicism that permeates his previous work but none of the humor or wit."[13] Guy Lodge of Variety wrote, "A minor romantic roundelay that deviates little from the essential template of his last three films, it's very much the work of an artist less preoccupied with innovation than with signature craftsmanship."[14]


  1. ^ "The 70th Berlinale Competition and Further Films to Complete the Berlinale Special". Berlinale. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  2. ^ Dams, Tim (29 January 2020). "Berlin Competition Lineup Revealed: Sally Potter, Kelly Reichardt, Eliza Hittman, Abel Ferrara". Variety. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  3. ^ Raup, Jordan (3 July 2019). "First Images from Philippe Garrel's 'The Salt of Tears'". The Film Stage. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Le sel des larmes". Berlinale. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Le sel des larmes". AlloCiné. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Production cinéma – Ça tourne pour "Le Sel des larmes" de Philippe Garrel". Profession Spectacle (in French). 5 April 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  7. ^ Lemercier, Fabien (2 April 2019). "Cameras are rolling on The Salt Of Tears by Philippe Garrel". Cineuropa. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  8. ^ "The Salt of Tears (Le sel des larmes) (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  9. ^ "The Salt of Tears". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  10. ^ Kohn, Eric (22 February 2020). "'The Salt of Tears' Review: Philippe Garrel's Lighthearted Movie About a Terrible Person". IndieWire. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  11. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (22 February 2020). "The Salt of Tears review - classy-looking French love story that jumps the shark". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  12. ^ Hoeij, Boyd van (22 February 2020). "'The Salt of Tears' ('Le Sel des larmes'): Film Review | Berlin 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  13. ^ Semerene, Diego (23 February 2020). "Review: Philippe Garrel's The Salt of Tears Forecloses Feeling for the Sake of Fantasy". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  14. ^ Lodge, Guy (22 February 2020). "'The Salt of Tears': Film Review". Variety. Retrieved 25 February 2020.

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