Sous le sable

Under the Sand | Unter dem Sand
Englishwoman Marie teaches English literature in Paris. While vacationing at the seaside, her husband disappears without a trace. The assumption is that he has drowned while swimming. But Marie refuses to accept that Jean is dead. After 25 years of marriage, she continues to act as if he is present, despite starting a relationship with publisher Vincent at the urging of her best friend. Her daily routine is not derailed until medications are found that point to Jean having suffered from depression. When a decomposed body is found at the coast, she returns once again to the seaside … Charlotte Rampling displays fascinating vitality playing a woman intent on denying the death in her life. She gives an impressive portrayal of Marie’s inner transition, as the character has less and less strength to deny the truth, while gaining the capacity to mourn. In Sous le sable, Charlotte Rampling fully owns the type of role she would go on to play for many years – of an independent, self-confident, sexually attractive, active woman. If Il portiere di notte (The Night Porter) was the defining role of Rampling’s early career, then Sous le sable can be considered the cusp to its second act.
by François Ozon
with Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Jacques Nolot, Alexandra Stewart, Pierre Vernier
France / Japan 2000 French,  Subtitles: English 95’ Colour, 35 mm Rating R6


  • Charlotte Rampling
  • Bruno Cremer
  • Jacques Nolot
  • Alexandra Stewart
  • Pierre Vernier
  • Andrée Tainsy
  • Michel Cordes


DirectorFrançois Ozon
ScreenplayFrançois Ozon, Emmanuèle Bernheim, Marina de Van, Marcia Romano
CinematographyAntoine Héberlé, Jeanne Lapoirie
MontageLaurence Bawedin
MusicPhilippe Rombi
SoundJean-Luc Audy
Art DirectorSandrine Canaux
CostumesPascaline Chavanne
ProducersOlivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier

François Ozon

Born in Paris, France in 1967, this director and screenwriter studied at La Fémis film school and is now one of the most renowned filmmakers in his country. His work has already screened in the Berlinale Competition four times, with the ensemble cast of one of his most successful films, the comedy 8 femmes, winning the Silver Bear in 2002. In 2012 he was a member of the International Jury. He has made four films with Charlotte Rampling who this year is being presented with the Honorary Golden Bear for her lifetime achievement; Sous le Sable and Swimming Pool are both screening in the Homage.

Filmography (selection)

1998 Sitcom 1999 Les amants criminels (Ein kriminelles Paar) 2000 Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes (Tropfen auf heiße Steine) · Sous le sable (Unter dem Sand) 2002 8 femmes (8 Frauen) 2003 Swimming Pool 2004 5 x 2 (5 x 2 – Fünf mal zwei) 2005 Le temps qui reste (Die Zeit die bleibt) 2009 Ricky (Ricky – Wunder geschehen) · La refuge (Rückkehr ans Meer) 2010 Potiche (Das Schmuckstück) 2012 Dans la maison (In ihrem Haus) 2013 Jeune et Jolie (Jung & Schön) 2014 Une nouvelle amie (Eine neue Freundin) 2016 Frantz 2017 L'amant double (Der andere Liebhaber) 2019 Grâce à Dieu (Gelobt sei Gott)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019


Feb 11 22:00

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Feb 14 19:30


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