Sous le sable

Under the Sand | Unter dem Sand
Englishwoman Marie teaches English literature in Paris. While vacationing at the seaside, her husband disappears without a trace. The assumption is that he has drowned while swimming. But Marie refuses to accept that Jean is dead. After 25 years of marriage, she continues to act as if he is present, despite starting a relationship with publisher Vincent at the urging of her best friend. Her daily routine is not derailed until medications are found that point to Jean having suffered from depression. When a decomposed body is found at the coast, she returns once again to the seaside … Charlotte Rampling displays fascinating vitality playing a woman intent on denying the death in her life. She gives an impressive portrayal of Marie’s inner transition, as the character has less and less strength to deny the truth, while gaining the capacity to mourn. In Sous le sable, Charlotte Rampling fully owns the type of role she would go on to play for many years – of an independent, self-confident, sexually attractive, active woman. If Il portiere di notte (The Night Porter) was the defining role of Rampling’s early career, then Sous le sable can be considered the cusp to its second act.
by François Ozon
with Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Jacques Nolot, Alexandra Stewart, Pierre Vernier, Andrée Tainsy, Michel Cordes
France / Japan 2000 French 95’ Colour Rating R6


  • Charlotte Rampling
  • Bruno Cremer
  • Jacques Nolot
  • Alexandra Stewart
  • Pierre Vernier
  • Andrée Tainsy
  • Michel Cordes


Director François Ozon
Screenplay François Ozon, Emmanuèle Bernheim, Marina de Van, Marcia Romano
Cinematography Antoine Héberlé, Jeanne Lapoirie
Montage Laurence Bawedin
Music Philippe Rombi
Sound Jean-Luc Audy
Art Director Sandrine Canaux
Costumes Pascaline Chavanne
Producers Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier

François Ozon

Born in Paris, France in 1967, the director and screenwriter studied at La Fémis film school and is now one of the most renowned filmmakers in his country. Peter von Kant is his fifth film to screen in the Berlinale Competition following Water Drops on Burning Rocks, which won the 2000 Teddy Award, the 2002 comedy 8 Women, whose ensemble female cast won the Silver Bear, Angel in 2007, Ricky in 2009 and the 2019 film By the Grace of God, for which he won the Grand Jury Prize. In 2012, he was a member of the Competition jury himself.

Filmography (selection)

1998 Sitcom 1999 Les amants criminels (Criminal Lovers) 2000 Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes (Water Drops on Burning Rocks) · Sous le sable (Under the Sand) 2002 8 femmes (8 Women) 2003 Swimming Pool 2004 5 x 2 2005 Le temps qui reste (Time to Leave) 2007 Angel 2009 Ricky · La refuge (The Refuge) 2010 Potiche 2012 Dans la maison (In the House) 2013 Jeune et jolie (Young & Beautiful) 2014 Une nouvelle amie (The New Girlfriend) 2016 Frantz 2017 L’amant double 2019 Grâce à Dieu (By the Grace of God) 2020 Été 85 (Summer of 85) 2021 Tout s’est bien passé (Everything Went Fine) · Peter von Kant

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022