7.0/10
2,270
17 user 37 critic

The Life of Jesus (1997)

La vie de Jésus (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 4 June 1997 (France)
A social movie about current life in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They pass away time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by directing their ... See full summary »

Director:

Bruno Dumont

Writer:

Bruno Dumont (scenario)

On Disc

at Amazon

14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

L'Humanité (1999)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When an 11-year-old girl is brutally raped and murdered in a quiet French village, a police detective who has forgotten how to feel emotions--because of the death of his own family in some kind of accident--investigates the crime, which turns out to ask more questions than it answers.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Emmanuel Schotté, Séverine Caneele, Philippe Tullier
Flanders (2006)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Bruno Dumont follows up the controversial Twentynine Palms with this tale of a group of young soldiers who go off to war and experience some life-changing events. Flandres won the Grand Prix Prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Adélaïde Leroux, Samuel Boidin, Henri Cretel
Outside Satan (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In a village on the French Opal Coast, a drifter engages in a perplexing relationship with a young woman who has suffered abuse.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: David Dewaele, Alexandra Lemâtre, Christophe Bon
Hadewijch (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The aspirant nun Céline van Hadewijch is invited to leave the convent where she studies and she returns to the house of her parents in Paris. Céline meets her outcast Muslim teenage friend ... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Julie Sokolowski, Karl Sarafidis, Yassine Salime
Li'l Quinquin (2014)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A murder mystery that opens with the discovery of human body parts stuffed inside a cow on the outskirts of a small channel town in northern France.

Stars: Alane Delhaye, Lucy Caron, Bernard Pruvost
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Yekaterina Golubeva, David Wissak
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Winter, 1915. Confined by her family to an asylum in the South of France - where she will never sculpt again - the chronicle of Camille Claudel's reclusive life, as she waits for a visit from her brother, Paul Claudel.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Jean-Luc Vincent, Jessica Errero
Japón (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A painter from the big city goes to a remote canyon to commit suicide. To reach some calmness, he stays at the farmstead of Ascen, an old, religious woman. Although but a few words are spoken, love grows.

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Stars: Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores, Yolanda Villa
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Marcos lusts after his boss's promiscuous daughter, but after botching an extortion scheme, he becomes wracked with guilt.

Director: Carlos Reygadas
Stars: Marcos Hernández, Anapola Mushkadiz, Bertha Ruiz
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Quinquin is now a grown-up and goes by the nickname CoinCoin. He hangs out on the Côte D'Opale and attends meetings of the Nationalist Party with his childhood friend Fatso. His old love, ... See full summary »

Stars: Alane Delhaye, Bernard Pruvost, Philippe Jore
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Nemec
Stars: Ladislav Jánsky, Antonín Kumbera, Ilse Bischofova
Panique (1946)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After an elderly maid is murdered, opinions are manipulated, evidence is planted, violence erupts, and panic ensues.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Viviane Romance, Michel Simon, Max Dalban
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
David Douche ... Freddy
Marjorie Cottreel ... Marie
Kader Chaatouf Kader Chaatouf ... Kader
Sébastien Delbaere Sébastien Delbaere ... Gégé
Samuel Boidin Samuel Boidin ... Michou
Steve Smagghe Steve Smagghe ... Robert
Sébastien Bailleul Sébastien Bailleul ... Quinquin
Geneviève Cottreel Geneviève Cottreel ... Yvette - la mère de Freddy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Suzanne Berteloot Suzanne Berteloot ... L'infirmière (as Suzanne Bertelot)
Hélène Blaevoet Hélène Blaevoet ... La collègue de Marie
Madame Chaatouf Madame Chaatouf ... La mère de Kader
Monsieur Chaatouf Monsieur Chaatouf ... Le père de Kader
Harmonie de Bailleul Harmonie de Bailleul ... Eux-mêmes
Melinda Deseure Melinda Deseure ... La chef des majorettes
Francis Desure Francis Desure ... Le policier avec Freddy
Edit

Storyline

A social movie about current life in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They pass away time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by directing their aggressive feelings towards Arab immigrants. Freddy is in love with Marie, a cashier at a local supermarket. When she is proposed to by Kader, a young Arab man, Freddy and his friends have an idea: they decide to punish Kader for what they call "such a provocation." After they have raped another girl, Marie finally commits to Kader, which seals his fate. Written by Philippe Petit <Philippe.Petit@pobox.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic

Release Date:

4 June 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Jesus See more »

Filming Locations:

Nord, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 87727 delivered on 3-1-1997. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Stark and uncompromising, but not a complete success
22 April 2008 | by ThreeSadTigersSee all my reviews

Whilst certain elements of Dumont's cinematic approach are commendable, the curiously titled La Vie de Jesus (1997) never really amounts to anything more than a series of laboured, social-realist clichés. As with his other films, such as L' Humanité (1999) and the recent Flanders (2006), we have the presentation of a series of slowly paced, deliberately structured and naturalistically rendered vignettes that propel the narrative - in this case, one that looks specifically at the issues of teenage delinquency, violence and alienation - whilst simultaneously creating a stark sense of drama from the seemingly mundane. As each scene is placed, one after the other, the broader implications of the story become apparent, and it is not until the end of the film that all the ideas become clear and we can think and reflect on the moral message that Dumont is seemingly presenting. However, for me, the film was so slight and seemingly without greater interpretation, that any attempt to really think about or feel this film were somewhat superfluous.

For ninety minutes we follow around our central protagonist Freddy - an epileptic skin-head and motorcyclist - as he spends his days riding around the countryside with his gang, engaging in uninvolving sex with his girlfriend, or harassing the local Arab family. So we have elements of defiance, disappointment, littleness, jealousy, racism and more, all going into the creation of this suffocating pressure-cooker like environment that is never as successfully rendered as it possibly could be. I first saw the film back in 2002 when I was still in my late-teens and I found it somewhat disappointing, especially in the context of Dumont's second feature, the award-winning L' Humanité. I decided to re-investigate the film after having recently viewed the Shane Meadows film This is England (2006), which has a number of similar themes and overall scope. For me, both films are well acted, well directed and have an honesty to them that is rare and laudable, but for me personally, fell flat given the weak script and the overall clichéd subject matter.

Some of the acting is highly impressive, particularly from Marjorie Cottreel as Freddy's put-upon young girlfriend, but David Douche as the central character occasionally comes across as a little stilted; obvious showing his limitation as a non-professional actor. However, despite these slight limitations, it is the overall mood of the film that eventually becomes the most problematic aspect. The film is so relentlessly grim and depressing, with no beacon of hope to cling to, that Dumont's ultimate message is buried beneath the misery. So much so in fact, that any moment of real dramatic tension is stifled, highlighting its own clichés and plunging the depths of third rate melodrama. Dumont would go on to improve his craft with the aforementioned L' Humanité, in which he drops the clichés and refines his characters to the point of real, searing interest. La Vie de Jesus isn't a complete failure; committed cinema goers will find some level of interest from the uncomplicated visual presentation and slow meditation on violence and guilt, however, too much of the film (for me) missed its target on almost every level.


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed