Le sel des larmes

The Salt of Tears
Driven by his desire to become a cabinetmaker, Luc arrives in Paris. Lost in the banlieues, he asks Djemila for directions. In the girl’s shyness, Luc glimpses the chance of an adventure. The two meet again but then Luc has to return home to his father, who is also a carpenter. There, he meets Geneviève, whom he knows from the past, and begins a romance with her. When Luc is offered a place at the renowned furniture-making school École Boulle, he follows his dream and moves to Paris, leaving Geneviève behind. Soon, a third young woman enters his small apartment, bringing the freedom of the big city with her. Via Renato Berta’s black-and-white cinematography, Philippe Garrel depicts a sentimental education, where the essential often happens at the edges of the frame or even off-screen. Time and again, Luc succumbs to glittering appearances, but with each conquest he loses something, the value of which he only realises later. Le sel des larmes is a magnificent tale of the cruelties that lovers inflict and suffer.
by Philippe Garrel
with Logann Antuofermo, Oulaya Amamra, André Wilms, Louise Chevillotte, Souheila Yacoub, Martin Mesnier, Teddy Chawa, Aline Belibi
France / Switzerland 2019 French 100’ Black/White World premiere


  • Logann Antuofermo (Luc)
  • Oulaya Amamra (Djemila)
  • André Wilms (Luc’s Father)
  • Louise Chevillotte (Geneviève)
  • Souheila Yacoub (Betsy)
  • Martin Mesnier (Paco)
  • Teddy Chawa (Jean-René)
  • Aline Belibi (Alice)


Director Philippe Garrel
Screenplay Philippe Garrel, Jean-Claude Carrière, Arlette Langmann
Cinematography Renato Berta, Berto
Editing François Gedigier
Music Jean-Louis Aubert
Sound Guillaume Sciama
Sound Mixing Thierry Delor
Production Design Emmanuel De Chauvigny
Costumes Justine Pearce
Assistant Director Paolo Trotta
Production Manager Serge Catoire
Producers Edouard Weil, Laurine Pelassy
Co-Producers Joëlle Bertossa, Flavia Zanon
Co-Production Close Up Films Genf
In Cooperation with Arte France Cinema, RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, SRG SSR

Produced by

Rectangle Productions

Philippe Garrel

Born in France in 1948, he directed numerous short films in his youth before making his feature debut in 1967 with Marie pour mémoire. Three years later, he directed the celebrated cult film La cicatrice intérieure with and about the rock icon Nico. His more than 25 feature films have screened and won awards at the most prestigious international festivals, with four of them having been selected for the Forum.

Filmography (selection)

1967 Marie pour mémoire 1968 Le révélateur · La concentration 1969 Le lit de la vierge 1970 La cicatrice intérieure 1974 Les hautes solitudes 1975 Un ange passe · Le berceau de cristal 1976 Voyage au pays des morts 1979 L'enfant secret (Das verheimlichte Kind) · L’enfant secret (Das verheimlichte Kind) 1983 Liberté, la nuit 1984 Elle a passé tant d'heures sous les sunlights · Elle a passé tant d’heures sous les sunlights 1988 Les baisers de secours 1989 Les ministeres de l'art · Les ministères de l’art 1990 J’entends plus la guitare · J'entends plus la guitare 1993 La naissance de l’amour · La naissance de l'amour 1995 Le coeur fantôme 1998 Night Wind 2001 Wild Innocence 2004 Regular Lovers 2005 Frontier of the Dawn 2011 That Summer 2013 Jealousy 2014 In the Shadow of Women 2017 Lover for a Day 2019 Le sel des larmes (The Salt of Tears) 2022 Le grand chariot (The Plough)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023