Avec amour et acharnement

Both Sides of the Blade
Sara and Jean have been in a loving, stable relationship for ten years. They are happy. He is her rock, someone she can hold on to. When they first met, Sara was in a relationship with François, Jean’s best friend. One day, Sara sees François on the street. He does not see her, but she is overwhelmed by a sensation that her life could suddenly change. François does indeed get in touch with Jean to suggest that they work together again. Before long, things are in danger of spiralling out of control.
Avec amour et acharnement is Claire Denis’s third collaboration with acclaimed writer Christine Angot, with whom she wrote Un beau soleil intérieur, which also starred Juliette Binoche. In a performance that is just as brave and committed, the actor proves to be exceptionally supple as her body becomes the terrain for a captivating theatre of emotional opposites. Eric Gautier’s precise cinematography shows us contrasting images of fingers comfortably intertwined, but also Sara’s entire body in forward motion, erupting in deep, uncontrollable moans. Encircled by a wall of passionate flames, Denis’s protagonists appear to be under siege, seemingly oblivious to society and its inexorable tendency to separate all things into opposing categories.
by Claire Denis
with Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, Grégoire Colin, Issa Perica, Bulle Ogier, Mati Diop
France 2021 French 116’ Colour World premiere


  • Juliette Binoche (Sara)
  • Vincent Lindon (Jean)
  • Grégoire Colin (François)
  • Issa Perica (Marcus)
  • Bulle Ogier (Nelly)
  • Mati Diop (Gabrielle)


Director Claire Denis
Screenplay Christine Angot, Claire Denis
Cinematography Eric Gautier
Editing Emmanuelle Pencalet, Sandie Bompar, Guy Lecorne
Music Tindersticks
Sound Design Jean-Paul Mugel
Sound Jean-Paul Mugel
Production Design Arnaud De Molerón
Costumes Judy Shrewsbury
Make-Up Céline Planchenault
Casting Michaël Laguens
Assistant Director Joseph Rapp
Production Manager Olivier Delbosc
Producer Olivier Delbosc
Executive Producer Christine De Jekel

World sales

Wild Bunch International

Produced by

Curiosa Films

Claire Denis

Born in Paris, France, the director and screenwriter lived in a number of African countries until the age of 12. She studied at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques where she met cinematographer Agnès Godard, with whom she would later collaborate on the majority of her films. She began her film career as an assistant to directors including Robert Enrico, Wim Wenders, Costa-Gavras, Jacques Rivette and Jim Jarmusch. Her films Man no run, Beau travail and Vers Mathilde screened in the Berlinale Forum. In 2020, she was invited to the Berlinale as part of the On Transmission series.

Filmography (selection)

1988 Chocolat 1989 Man no run 1990 S’en fout la mort (No Fear, No Die) 1995 À propos de Nice 1996 Nenette and Boni 1999 Beau travail 2001 Trouble Every Day 2002 Friday Night 2005 The Intruder · Vers Mathilde (Towards Mathilde) 2008 35 rhums (35 Shots of Rum) 2010 White Material 2013 Bastards · Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In) 2018 High Life 2021 Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022