Je ne suis pas mort

I'm Not Dead
Yacine lives with his brother Jamel in a cramped Parisian apartment. He works as a motorcycle courier, although he is also a brilliant political science student. When a delivery job takes him to the home of his professor Richard Artaud, his life is thrown off course. Both the professor and his wife, an actress, show an extraordinary, if disturbingly paternalistic interest in him. Shortly thereafter, the professor suddenly dies – disappearing into complete darkness in a breathtaking scene – and Yacine makes a strange confession to Eléonore: "I am not dead".
Mehdi Ben Attias’s second film can be interpreted as a ghost story, as a love triangle involving the transmigration of souls, or even as a treatise on class restrictions and discrimination. Yet luckily the director isn’t willing to make things so easy, as Yacine’s identity remains pointedly inscrutable. Je ne suis pas mort is a fascinating reflection on the roles that people play: as a son, a brother, a lover, a thinker, the representative of a function or of an idea.
by Mehdi Ben Attia
with Mehdi Dehbi, Maria de Medeiros, Emmanuel Salinger, Driss Ramdi, Judith Davis
France 2012 100’

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