Three siblings comprise the latest generation in a family of puppeteers led with passion by their father. They are magicians of a kind, but can barely make ends meet, working mainly for the love of their craft. Their grandmother contributes too, not only as a seamstress but also as a repository of memories and wisdom. A tragic event will challenge the desire of each sibling to carry on.
Exhibiting a masterful command of his craft, Philippe Garrel explores themes dear to him such as love, friendship, mourning, lineage, and the figure of the cursed and self-destructive artistic soul. What is most striking here, however, is his tender and romantic view of the family unit as a sanctuary, made more poignant by the filmmaker having brought together his three children before the camera for the first time. With the precision of a documentarian, this artisan-filmmaker offers a view of a world in which traditions are dying. Supported by some of the best in the trade including cinematographer Renato Berta, Garrel makes his puppeteer magic happen. His intuitive and incisive composition gives us moments of stupefying beauty.
by Philippe Garrel
with Louis Garrel, Damien Mongin, Esther Garrel, Lena Garrel, Francine Bergé, Aurélien Recoing, Mathilde Weil, Asma Messaoudene
France / Switzerland 2022 French 95’ World premiere


  • Louis Garrel (Louis)
  • Damien Mongin (Pieter)
  • Esther Garrel (Martha)
  • Lena Garrel (Lena)
  • Francine Bergé (Grandmother)
  • Aurélien Recoing (Father)
  • Mathilde Weil (Hélène)
  • Asma Messaoudene (Laure)


Director Philippe Garrel
Written by Jean-Claude Carrière, Arlette Langmann, Philippe Garrel, Caroline Deruas Peano
Cinematography Renato Berta
Editing Yann Dedet
Music Jean-Louis Aubert
Sound Design Thierry Delor
Sound Guillaume Sciama
Production Design Manu 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
Arte France Cinéma Paris
Tournon Films Paris

World sales

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