Prendre feu

Catching Fire
Male violence superimposes the innocence and growth. It is difficult to differentiate reality from dream, when everything is reality for those who protect the other. ‘May beetle fly/Your father is at war/Your mother is in Pomerania/Pomerania has burned down/May beetle fly.’ This German nursery rhyme sets the tone for the film and according to historian Hans Medick, can be traced back to the global Seven Years’ War (1756–1763). A hand pushes a mossy branch to the sky. A fire burns. A long shot reveals deep black smoke rising behind the boy.
In large tableaux alternating with dense, observant close-ups, photographer and filmmaker Michaël Soyez creates a scenario in which two brothers try to protect their friend from violence and anger. They live in a forest somewhere: a house, a young girl at the piano, an old woman. Only in excerpts do we come to understand this ensemble. More than the people, it is the colours and sounds that tell the story. The rich green, the dark red, the blonde hair of the boys who move in a labyrinth of emotions.
by Michaël Soyez
with Léo Lebreton, Enzo Bedouet, Léo Bedouet, Amaury Dallois, Brune Lacoste, Yamakkasu
France 2019 French, German 26’ Colour


  • Léo Lebreton (Lou)
  • Enzo Bedouet (Thomas)
  • Léo Bedouet (Thomas)
  • Amaury Dallois (Jonathan)
  • Brune Lacoste (Hannah)
  • Yamakkasu (Stranger)


Written and Directed by Michaël Soyez
Cinematography Raphaël Vandenbussche, Michaël Soyez
Editing Carole Le Page
Sound Design Eric Ghersinu, Agathe Poche, Simon Apostolou
Colour Correction Yannig Willmann
Producer Camille Genaud

Michaël Soyez

Born in the south of France in 1987, after studying at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he turned his attention to photography, which he continues to pursue to this day. In 2016, he made his directorial debut with the documentary essay film Knockdown. Prendre feu is his first fiction film.

Filmography (short films)

2016 Knockdown 2019 Prendre feu

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019