Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Max mon amour

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Margaret Jones, the wife of a British diplomat in Paris, is keeping a secret. She’s having an affair – with a chimpanzee. After her husband catches the two of them in flagrante delicto, he proposes that Max the chimp come live with them. The couple’s young son is delighted with the newest member of the family, but husband Peter is tortured by the question of whether Margaret is actually having sex with Max. He hopes to shed light on the issue by hiring a prostitute for Max … Ten years after his controversial film Ai No Korīda (In the Realm of the Senses, 1976), Japanese director Nagisa Oshima made this surreal marriage farce that is reminiscent of late Luis Buñuel films. That’s no surprise given that the screenplay was written by Jean-Claude Carrière, who also worked on the script for Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972). Charlotte Rampling said, “‘Max’ was the most perfect script I've ever read”. Playing the distinguished diplomatic wife who gets up close and personal with her animal side, the role expanded her screen repertoire of kinky sexuality with a bit of monkey love.

Nagisa Oshima

France / USA 1986

French, English

97’ · Colour · 35 mm

Rating R16


Charlotte Rampling
Anthony Higgins
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu
Victoria Abril
Anne Marie Besse
Pierre Étaix
Bernard Haller
Fabrice Luchini
Milena Vukotic


Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima, Jean-Claude Carrière
Director of Photography
Raoul Coutard
Hélène Plemiannikov
Michel Portal
Jean-Philippe Le Roux
Production Design
Pierre Guffroy
Bernard Perris
Serge Silberman