Toutes les nuits (2001) - full transcript

Night after night...

You are present

In a sweet dream

In a sweet and gentle dream

But day after day

You are absent

Which is for me a woe

Which is for me a painful woe

Since night for me

Is a more precious time

In a dream

Sleep all day long

My poor eyes

So that I shall never stop dreaming

Sleep all day long...


I shall really be sad
to leave this hole.

In Paris you'll forget all about it.

No, I shan't.

I'll miss you, Jules,
more than anybody.

In Paris you'll have
all sorts of new things:

Girls, for example.

I'll be stuck
in my boarding school.

In Paris, beautiful girls
are everywhere.

You'll find them here.

The girls here don't interest me.

- I'll leave as soon as I can.
- I'll come back.

From time to time.

Do you want to go for a walk?

The sun's still beating hard.

We can go up to the spring.



It's the Savage.

I know.

But I've never seen her
like that before.

I know where she lives.

Shall we follow her?

- She lives there all alone.
- How do you know?

I hang out here sometimes.

How does she earn her living?

- From time to time she sees men.
- She's a hooker?

I think she does it out of love.

Let's knock at her door.

I think she'd let us in.

I think she'd make us happy.

Shall we try?

Let's wait until nightfall.

- Why?
- Because...

The only time you can be happy
is at night.

It's all right now.

Let's get out of here!

We're still stuck with our virginity.

Maybe it's better that way.

I don't see why.

Everything remains to be done.

Such logic
will never get you very far.

I don't know
if I'm made to get very far.


Renaud House
School for young men

My goal, Madam, Sir,

and I don't think
it will surprise you,

is to form good French citizens,

with secular morals
and classical taste.

The tragedy of present-day France,

the tragedy of present-day France,
my dear Henri,

is that the educational system,
once the monopoly of Jesuits,

is robbed off to them
by the Communists.

That's quite true.

The day I learned I had passed
my agr?gation examination in grammar,

that very day,

I made a vow that was
to be determinant for my life:

Restoring its pedagogical heritage
to the youth of our Republic,

and leaving some good citizens
to posterity.

I've already turned out
several very fine models,

and I daresay there remains
some more time to continue.

Here's my wife, who helps me
devotedly in this difficult task...

Please don't get up.

How do you do?

?milie Renaud.

Henri is a new boarder.
Here are his parents.

- Hello!
- How do you do?

An excellent vintage,

those boys who'll take
their baccalaur?at exam in 1968.

Do sit down, Henri.

Yes, Sir.

My husband told me you had
a problem with your homework.

Not only with my homework.

That problem does exist, since
you haven't written anything yet.

I've got to comment
To a passing lady, by Baudelaire.

- What is your method?
- I have none.

Read the text out loud.

I don't know how to read poetry.

- Are you happy here?
- And you?

I'm at home here.

Some people aren't happy at home.

I am.

You're younger
than your husband.

- Why should we be the same age?
- It's the custom.

So you're respectful of customs.

Of some,

when they seem like common sense.

What counts most is feelings.

Don't you like young people?

Why would I answer such question?

It was asked in a nice way.

Let's look at your poem.

What does it inspire you?

Nothing in particular.

- It's a strange poem.
- Why?

Because Baudelaire admits
that nothing has happened.

Are you sure nothing has happened?

Think about it.

That will help you
to make an outline.

The outline is very important.

It's essential.

Aren't you going to help me then?

The most important things we do,
we do alone.


Tonight in the quarry,
the Bardi company presents

The Ripper of London,

prose drama in 5 acts

by Ananias Alestorm.

Thank you.

I saw your performance last night.

Where are you going?

For a walk.

Can I come along?


I feel like it.

Come along, if you want.

Dear Henri,

A troupe of actors has moved into
the abandonned house of Mme Morel,

and gives performances
in the quarry.

Last night it was a play
about the life of Jack the Ripper.

We meet sometimes.

- What's your name?
- Lucie.

Mine is Jules.

- How old are you?
- 15.

I'm 17.

In 2 years,
I'll be as old as you.

But I'll always be 2 years older.

Not necessarily.

Some people always stay the same age.

Do you go to school?

No. And you?


You have no job?

But I want to be a writer.

I want to write plays.

I can introduce you to Bardi,
the head of the troupe.

The one who played the Inspector.

That would be nice.

I've got to go home now.

We can go that way.

There's a loop
to come back to town.

All right.

Today she introduced me to Bardi,
the head of the troupe,

whom I suspect may be her father.

It's a fine ambition,
to be a poet.

I think
that if I wrote for the stage,

I'd be inspired.

I've already discovered
several writers.

You're not afraid
of a verse play?

I eat verse every morning.

I've already chosen the subject.

What is it?

The death of Rimbaud.

Death is an instant.
A play must last longer.

It's an instant
which gives you the time

to see your whole life.

What does your Rimbaud see?

First of all, he sees an angel.

An angel?

What does the angel look like?

Like a girl.

That's very good.

Lucie is an actress,
like her mother.

She's the first girl
I've ever been in love with.

I think about her all day,

and even more at night,

when I have no chance
of seeing her.

- Why don't you study in your room?
- I need a presence around me.

- Everybody is asleep.
- You're here.

It's a coincidence.

Coincidences don't exist.

I can put on the other lamps.

It's nicer this way.

Do you think so?

Are you getting used to life here?


- All Saints' Day is coming up soon.
- I know.

Will you go home for the holidays?

What would I do otherwise?

You can stay here.

I'd get bored.
At home I've got mates.

If you stayed here,
I'd take care of you.

Aren't you going to take a holiday?

My husband's leaving
for a symposium.

Won't you be going along with him?

Why not?

I don't like symposiums.

- Will other pupils be staying?
- I have no idea.

Only you
told me about it.

- Because you asked me.
- I was just chatting.

It's late. Good night.

Dear Jules,

I'm fascinated by a woman,

or rather
by the desire I feel for her.

Her presence all the time
makes my desire a fury, stronger

than anything
I've ever experienced.

I'm anxious for the holidays to come,

so that I can tell you
about everything.

You're the only one
I can speak to easily,

without struggling with the words

or hiding my thoughts.

I hope you will tell me
everything also.

I try to imagine Mme Renaud.

The woman I see is so real,

that it seems
as if I've already met her.

I'm sorry, but I shan't
be coming home for the holidays.

I've got to study to catch up.

We'll have to wait until Christmas.

Take care, Jules.

Write soon.

Have you prepared your essay
on The Charterhouse of Parma?

I haven't finished reading it.
It doesn't inspire me.

- Make an effort.
- Not for that.

What for, then?

We can't talk here.
Can't we go elsewhere?

I have to meet a girlfriend.

I'm going to study in my room.

I'm willing to talk.


- Tonight, if you want.
- At what time?

I'm going to the theatre.
I'll be home at midnight.

Is midnight too late?

I'll wait for you then.


Come to my room.

See you tonight.

I'm going to read the book.

Come in.

Won't you sit down?

What do you want to talk about?

Why did you invite me
to stay for the holidays?

- I offered to help you study.
- That's not why I stayed.

- Why then?
- To see you.

You see me every day.

I didn't think
I'd see you in my room.

I'm always willing to talk.

Have you known many men?

I haven't met many women like you.

In what way am I special?

If you desired someone,
you'd give yourself completely.

- What makes you think that?
- The way you look at me.

And you?

What do you mean?

If you desired a woman,

would you do the same?

I don't really know who I am yet.

Your standing up makes me uneasy.

May I sit down?

How stupid to write:

"You whom I might have loved..."

What counts is what you do.

Do you really think so?

What are you thinking about?


One never thinks about nothing.

What I'm thinking about
has no name.

Is it something frightening?

On the contrary,
I feel quite at ease.

I feel very happy.

I'm glad.

Before, I wasn't happy...

but I didn't know it.

- You were suffering?
- No, I was quite contented.

But I wasn't happy.

That's what I've just realised.

Can't one be contented
and happy at the same time?

I don't think so.

Then maybe

I'm happy also.

Don't you know it?

I'll only know later on.

Dear Jules,

I've finally crossed
the border line.

I don't know what I've become,

but I'm not what I used to be.

Last night, I managed
to get ?milie to come to my room.

I finally experienced the reality

of what had only been
desire and imagination.

From now on,
there's a new force in me.

It's really something
I wish you.

But we'll talk about all that
at Christmas.

I'm looking forward
to seeing you again.

I come here often.

I like it here.

I'm afraid.

Of what?

I don't know.

Are you afraid of me?

Of what, then?

I'd tell you...
if there was a name for it.

Maybe it's something beautiful.

Why are you crying?

Are you still afraid?

Of men's desire?

That has a name.

What I'm afraid of
has no name.

Are you angry?

Why don't you look at me?

I don't feel well.

I'd like to go out.

Let's go out, then.

I wanted to see you a minute.


I don't like being spied on.

I wanted to give you this.

The puppy?

It's so small.

The mother is yours?

It's our neighbour's.

She didn't drown this one,

and yesterday, she weaned it.

Why did she spare this one?

Because I asked her to.

You decided
which one would live?

I've got to go now.

Will you bring it home?

I'm going to go that way.

There's a loop
to come back to town.

You learned that from me.

Good evening.

Are you leaving?

The Christmas holidays begin
tomorrow. I'll be back in 10 days.

What will we do then?

Resume our life together.

I can't bear the hypocrisy of it.

- We're very honest.
- I'm not.

I don't love my husband.

You're the one I love.

I love you too, ?milie.

But we've got to make do
with what is possible.

Everything is possible.

We can make another life
for ourselves.


We can go off together.

- Where?
- Far away from here.

Where we don't know anybody,

where we shan't understand
what people are saying.

I'm studying English:
English is spoken everywhere.

Not in the United States.

We can go to London
to get the visas,

and we'll arrive in New York
for New Year's Day.

What will we live with?

I've got some money of my own.
Then I'll start working.

I love you, ?milie.

I love you very deeply.

Come away with me:
I'm the one who's asking you.

And I'm the one who's accepting.

We'll take only one suitcase.

Here we are
in the New World,

on the eve of a new year.

1968 won't be an ordinary year.

That's what they always say.

This time I'm sure it's true.

The world is a year older.
Any regrets?

None at all.

I did what I had to.

It's the same for me.

I just miss one of my friends
a little.

Which one?

His name is Jules.

Closing time!

Aren't you going to celebrate
New Year's Eve?

Of course.

Happy New Year.

Thank you. You too.

- Hello!
- I haven't got much time.

I wanted to wish you
a happy New Year.

Happy New Year to you too.

- What have you named the dog?
- Arthur.

Because of the story you told me.

- What are you doing now?
- I'm going home.

- What about taking a walk?
- I'm late.

Goodbye, then.

I'd like to read your play
when it's finished.


What are you reading?

The history programme
for the baccalaur?at exam.

Where are you going
to take it?

I'll have
to go back to France.

- Do you want to?
- I've got to.

Just to take the exam.

It is important.

- You don't seem very convinced.
- Of course I am.

What's the matter then?

We've got problems.

Of what kind?

Soon we won't have money left.

That was predictable.

I'm going to look for work,
but I don't know where to start.

- I've got to study.
- Of course.

I'm going to buy the newspaper.

I'm going to look
at the classified ads.

"The Angel...

"This memory is our common space

"Where my eternal being,
all of light

"Engaged itself to thine

"Of mortal matter..."

That's exciting.

You've written
an authentic masterpiece.

I'll have to take the time
to read it, then produce it.

- Give it to me.
- I've just got the original.

Give it to me:
We'll make copies.

It isn't very legible.

I'm used to reading manuscripts.

Lucie would play the angel.

Of course.

I'm very happy.

This is the first time
I write to you,

and also no doubt the last.

I'm a woman now.

Two months ago
I became Bardi's mistress.

Some people say he's my father,
but he said it's not true.

Even if it were,
that wouldn't change anything.

He's harsh with me.

He looks down on me
because I'm young,

because I'm a woman.

Still, I'm happy.

That's not why I'm writing to you.

When you get this letter
I shall be far away,

because we're leaving
tomorrow morning,

I don't know where.

Lf, as it's probable,
we never see each other again,

I would like you to know
that I loved you too.

But in a different way.

Bardi told me about your play,
which we won't perform.

I know that you wanted me
to play an angel. I'm not an angel,

but I can imagine what an angel is,

because you loved me.

I've got another sad thing
to tell you. ;

three days ago,
Arthur fell into convulsions,

and died.

I watched over him all night,
with just a candle,

and in the morning
I buried him in the woods, by a tree.

I believe
that dogs have a soul,

and that his will remain with you.

Arthur and the Angel

Dear Henri,

Now I know the depths of despair.

I don't believe in anything.

I have no more will to live.

How to continue an existence
without meaning?

Stupid bastard!

Read this if you want to laugh.

This idiot thinks he is a martyr,

without once asking about us.

It's very moving.

- He has nothing to complain about.
- He's suffering.

And we're not?

We're not. We're happy.

We're broke.

- We're together, we're free.
- That's not enough.

It ought to be enough.

He's got less problems than us.

He thinks he'll never be free,
never be whole.

You sound like you know him.

It's very strange.

You should have gone off with him.

MAY - JUNE 1968

Everything is upside down, Henri.
An old world has crumbled,

and a new world is born.

No revolution
has ever changed the world.

But this one is out to change life.

- There's a TV set in the flat.
- I never watch TV.

It's the modern way
of keeping up on revolutions.

The news in the paper
is two days late.

Less than that,
with the time difference.

It won't reduce our problems.

It all depends on its success.

What can their revolution
do for us?

It's our revolution.

We're the ones who began it.
And we've already won.

They're coming this way! Run!

They didn't come up this way
after all.

Must be your mates
coming down again.

- It's beautiful.
- What's beautiful?

The two colours,
the two fellows running.

What a disgusting thing to say!


- We're making a revolution.
- So am I.

"Beauty" is an instrument
of class oppression.

You talk
like a bourgeois aesthete!

Bastard cops!

It's not Sunday strollers
they're attacking.

What animals!

Dear Sir,

I'm writing to you,

even though we have never met.

I think you know who I am.

I've heard a lot about you.

Strange as it may seem,

I often think about you.

I know that you're suffering
a great deal.

I'm personally very happy,

but I understand your suffering.

And sometimes it seems
as if I were with you

in your small town, in your night.

Dear Madam,

Your letter
came like a miracle,

like an angel's voice.

I know nothing about you,
except that Henri loves you,

but I feel as if I know you,

and that you know me too.

What force
made you send me this sign,

which has moved me
very deeply,

and has changed my life?

We've lost.

Yes, we've lost.

That's right,
you understand.

You've got to understand.

Understand what?

That we must go back to France.

But that would be
the end of everything.

Only of our life together.

You never believed in it.

I did. But every element in life
comes to an end.

It's reality.

If you don't love me anymore,
there's no sense in staying here.

But I can't accept
what you call reality.

- I didn't invent reality.
- Everyone invents their own.

Invent enough money for us
to stay here. Invent my diploma.

It's reality in general we invent,
not the details.

My life is a series of details, and
my mind is too weak to invent them.

I knew you through my mind:
Perhaps I invented you,

but you're not a detail,
and you shall have no end.

I existed before you knew me,
I'm a body,

and you knew me through yours.

Every bodily form must disappear:

It's a physical law.

Fascist... Bourgeois...

The party is over now.

Can I come in?

I feel as if
it's the Liberation again.

For the second time,

I followed de Gaulle
on the Champs-?lys?es.

That's something
you've never known.

That's true.
The first time I was too young.

And the second time
you were among the losers.

But in 1968,

they didn't shave the heads of those
who had slept with the enemy.

I didn't sleep with the enemy.
I left with the man I loved.

He was one of my best pupils,

with a gift for maths,

and the beginnings
of moral conscience.

He's still gifted for maths,
and his conscience is developing.

You'll reap what you've sown.

What do you plan on doing?

I'll go home to Normandy.
Then, I'll see.

Your place is here.


On the site
of our common accomplishment.

I forgive you.

I've done nothing
that needs to be forgiven.

And I have another place somewhere.

Could you lend me money
for my train ticket?

- Are you leaving this evening?
- The next train is tomorrow morning.

What are you going to do tonight?

Stay in the underground.

Why don't you sleep here?


In one of the rooms.

I'm leaving early.

Will you give me the money tonight?

The civil war
has wrought havoc here.

Only one room
has remained habitable,

- because it was closed off.
- Which one is it?

Number 3.

JULY 1968

Small farms are disappearing
one after another.

I don't think this one will.

You don't seem unhappy.

On the contrary, dad.
I've found deep peace here.

Then why don't you stay?


You could help me
and look for a new husband.

No, dad.

At the end of the summer
I'm going back to Paris.

But if you weren't happy there?

I wasn't happy with my husband.

But now
I want to seek other things.

Let's go for a walk.

The last time we came here,
we saw the Savage.

- We'll never see her again.
- Why?

In May she disappeared.

They burnt her cabin.

Shall we have a swim?

We've never swam here.
The water is too cold.

You don't want to?

I do.

In memory of the Savage.

Have you got a girlfriend?

There aren't
any interesting girls here.

At least, I don't know them.

You've got to move on then!

You've got to start living!

Let's do a few strokes.

I don't know how to swim.

"I live, I die,
I burn myself and drown,

"I die of heat..."

You haven't read the subject.

- The subject of the sentences?
- Exactly.

There's nothing
but the subject: "I... I... I..."

You haven't said that "I".

I haven't?

Do you know what it is,
that "I"?

The first person singular.

Is that so?
Are you the one speaking?

If I'm the one reading, yes.

French, the phallocratic language
par excellence,

offers no possibility
of distinguishing your "I"

from that of the poem.

If you don't express the difference,
these lines have no meaning for you.

You're right.

Do you know who you're reading?

You never told me
the author's name.

- It's an authoress.
- You mean a woman?

- Don't you feel it?
- Not particularly.

Begin reading again.

- What have you got against men?
- Read!

They can be useful.

Even to women.
Especially to women.

They enable women
to do pleasant things.

Haven't you ever tried?

What I find most unbearable in men
is their stupidity:

They're profoundly idiotic creatures.

Begin reading again.

And try to express,
despite your stupidity,

what a woman's "I" means.

"I live, I die,
I burn myself and drown,

"I die of heat
while suffering from cold..."

- Sorry, I'm late.
- You're perfectly on time.

After my lesson,
Sylvaine fell into my arms!

I didn't feel like it,
but I had to console her.

You don't waste time.

Sylvaine is a very pretentious girl,

but good-looking and easy.

- I'll have to introduce you.
- That's nice.

What are we doing now?

We can go for a little stroll.

Then I've got to go study.
Haven't you?

In theory.

This baccalaur?at
delayed for revolution,

I've also got to take it.

But when it's time to study,
I always find something else to do.

I passed! With honours!

So did I. Without honours.

Let's go celebrate.

- You were bored at the party?
- A little.

It was rather nice.

Go back.

First, I'll walk a bit with you.

I never went out
with those people.

We all passed our baccalaur?at.
We've got that in common.

There's not much to talk about.

Now that you've passed the exam,
what are you going to do?

- Leave for Paris.
- To continue your studies?

- As a pretext.
- And in reality?

I want to begin living.

I'll return to Paris to succeed.

For now, I prefer studying law
in Aix-en-Provence.

We're going to separate again.

Then we'll get back together.

I think
we'll always get back together.

I'm going back to the party.

OCTOBER 1968 - AUGUST 1969

Cops, fascists, assassins!

They're charging! Run!

I didn't do anything!

- I'm from out of town.
- So am I. Nothing to be ashamed of.

I know that.

Well then?

- I thought you could help me.
- This isn't an employment agency.

I know,
but I've nobody else to look to.

I'll have
to get to know you better.

You'll have to tell me everything.

Where are you?

What have you become?

Is it possible
we shall never speak again?

Not knowing where you are,

I'm writing to your parents'address
in the South.

After spending the summer
in the country

I moved back to Paris.

Thanks to a girlfriend, I found a job
which permits me to earn my living,

and meet interesting people.

Cut the sacks off all of them!

My parents sent me your letter
a little late.

I'm very happy
to learn you're in Paris,

as I am there too.

We can finally meet.

Where exactly do you work?

I'm very glad to learn
that you're in Paris.

I'm happy to know
that we see the same sky

and walk in the same streets.

I don't think we should meet.

You ask where I work:

it's a realm of spirit,

but I prefer to say nothing further.

I don't understand
why we shouldn't meet,

yet I accept your will.

Our neighbourhoods are close.

I confess
I've passed by your house.

But I shan't try and see you
before you wish me to.

As students,
as the hope of the class enemy,

it's our duty to support
the proletarian cause,

to take an active part in
the struggles of the working class,

and to destroy the state
they want to make us the pillars of.

If you don't believe in it,
what you study has no meaning.

You're half-hearted!
I spit on the half-hearted!

No, I'm passionate. Clear-headed
passions last the longest.

A clear-headed passion
is like a useful bourgeois!

Your parents who pay for
your education are useful bourgeois.

You're hopeless!

"It's raining in my heart

"As it is on the town..."

I must interrupt you.

Your interpretation
is grandiloquent.

You aren't reading:
You are singing.

For Verlaine, music was essential.

What he meant by music

was a voice following the rhythm
with natural diction.

Your reading

was a grotesque distortion.

I didn't realise. I was just trying
to make each verse distinct.

Verse is an abstract concept,
whose virtual form

excites the formalist tendency
of bourgeois taste.

Verse never really existed,
and has nothing to do with poetry.

Then what is poetry, for you?

Poetry is a powerful text.

Beauty doesn't exist.
It's a bourgeois concept.

A poem is a text with rhythm.
Rhythm is verse,

any text which can be divided
into rhythmic sequences

is a text in verse.

In any series of noise
you can detect rhythmic sequences.

But noise isn't music,

and Verlaine believed that without
music poetry can't exist.

And what is your opinion?

I think that music
is a necessary sign of poetry,

but in the absolute,
poetry is something else.

Be more precise.


is the manifest presence
in language...

Of what?

An order.

Do you realise
the political implications of this?

I'm not talking about
a political order.

All order is political!

What is the order you talk about?

- It's something universal.
- Called?

What you can feel...

when you're alone
in a church.

I've never heard someone your age

make such a reactionary statement.

Dear Henri,

It's hard to believe
it will be summer.

By some miracle

I passed my exams
and I've got my year's credits.

Thanks for the card
you sent me at Christmas.

I didn't write very often
because I was lost in my new life.

Or perhaps I was just simply lost.

But now we're finally
going to meet again.

I was very happy
to get your letter,

but we shan't see each other
right away.

One of my new friends here,

the son of the French Ambassador
in Great Britain,

invited me to spend the holidays
with his family there,

in a castle.

But we'll be able to meet
at the end of the summer.

I'm returning August 20th,

and I'll stay with my parents
for several weeks.

I know that you're arriving
next week,

but I've decided
to go back to Paris tomorrow.

We'll be missing each other.
I'm sorry about that.

We'll have to wait until Christmas.

DECEMBER 1969 - MAY 1970

I'm writing to Aix,

although I know you're in London,
as I am, for Christmas.

It's a trip I've always wanted
to make in this season.

Although I have no means
of contacting you here,

I'm glad to know
we're in the same town,

and we're seeing the same things.

What is this manuscript
you wanted to talk to me about?

A text by an authoress
who's never been published,

a major voice,
which must be heard.

I hope we'll be able
to publish her.

It's a novel?

The sperm-makers
would call it a novel.

Actually, it has no name
in our phallologos.

I'd say rather
that it's a feminnovel.

I'll read you a passage.

"Sandrine was lying under the sheet,
naked, on her back.

"Above her sex,
precisely in her sexus-axis,

"two big beams
formed a cross on the ceiling.

"On the pinnacle
of their frenzied force,

"on the vile-lance
of their pricking-point,

"on the hidden face
of this same ceiling,

"in the mellow moist
of this summer night

"lay Caroline."

Why are you laughing?

I don't know.
Apparently I find that funny.

You think passion is funny?

Not passion.

But that sort of literature.

Then let's forget
about literature.

It was an intelligent film.

Intellectual, not intelligent.

I like strong sensations.

I made a wrong choice
for our first date.

Are you mad at me, Mathilde?

We should at least
take advantage of springtime.

That's what we're doing.

Would you like
to come to my place?

Let's go to mine.

It's a nice flat.

My parents bought it for me.

Is there another level?

It's my bedroom.
You'll see it later.

Do you want a drink? A brandy?

A garlaban,
if you've got that.

I've got very complicated
feelings about you.

We're not here
to talk about feelings.

When I asked you to go out with me,
it was because of a feeling.

- Don't you desire me?
- Feelings don't prevent desire.

I've got a fianc? in Paris.

The feelings I have,
I keep them for him.

- He's a student?
- In the National Management School.

Haven't you any scruples
about cheating on him?

None at all.

I'm sure he does the same.

I'm young and beautiful now,
and I've got to take advantage of it.

- That's a dark view of things.
- Not at all.

Later on, there'll be
other satisfactions:

Money, a social status,

For the time being, the most pleasant
thing life offers me

are handsome boys.

You can start now.

- Excuse me?
- You understood.

Good evening.

Why do you wear glasses?

I need them to see.

You're the only one here
who wears them.

In fact they're bifocals.

The bottom part is stronger,
for reading.

I read a lot also.

- Do you want to have a drink?
- I'm working.

I know that.

But let's start with a drink.


Do you read
while you're waiting?

In the afternoon, for example.

It doesn't please the clients
very much.

What do you read?

Mainly poetry.

My favourite author is Claudel.

I've never read him.

My mother would like him:
She's a devout Catholic.

Do you take
your glasses off sometimes?

You're beautiful.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Because I've got to leave you.

Don't forget about the money.

I could have loved you.


But I'm working.

Dear Jules,

I quit my job a few weeks ago.

I'll find another way
to earn my living.

I don't know if I like
interesting people, after all.

Perhaps I've realised
what my destiny is.

I've decided to have a child
and raise it by myself.

I want to give
without expecting anything.

To see my life flow
into another.

I realised all that
in the night,

in a great flood
of light so pure,

that I can't imagine
where it came from.

I'm sure that I'm not mistaken.

I love you, ?milie,
I love you.

I wish to be
the father of your child.

I wish to raise it with you,

to give it my strength and memory,
without expecting anything.

That too, comes to me
in a great flood of light

which I don't understand,

and don't even try to understand.

I love you also, Jules.

That is a great mystery,

something immense...

But you shan't be
the father of my child.

What exists between us
must never be of flesh.

But we are of flesh.

We exist by our bodies.

Why deny our existence,

which cries out so strongly?

The love that cries out in us,
in you and I,

knows nothing of our bodies,
even by sight.

We'll lead a common existence
in the world,

even a bodily existence,

but it will not be through knowledge.

Accept what is necessary.

What do they want from me?

Who's there?

I don't believe it!

- You didn't expect to see me?
- Not really.

May I come in?

Nothing can stop you.

It's true.

Why are you here?

- To spend a night with you.
- You're mad.

A night doing what?


It's insane!

Well, I can't throw you out!

I always take this place.

You can have the other one,
if you want.

And turn off the lamp.

Are you asleep?

You know very well I'm not.

Why are you so brutal?

Our story's been over
for a long time, now.

I know that better than you do.

Then, why did you come?

After this,
you'll never hear of me again.

You want to do something foolish.

On the contrary, I'm happy.

Try and sleep, then.

Am I no longer pretty?

You are.

Don't you find me desirable?

JUNE 1970 - FEBRUARY 1971

- Who's there?
- It's me.

Come in, it's open.

Come in.

You sleep with the door open?

The bolt is broken.

An unexpected visit.

I wanted to talk to you.

You came to Paris for that?

I'm going back to Aix
tomorrow morning.

What's so urgent?

Do you want to go on a holiday
together, this summer?

Letters would have settled that!

The holidays are soon,
and the post is slow.

We want to organise things.

You've always been organised.
How about Katmandu?

Not so far.
But we still have to get organised.

- Where should we go, then?
- To Rome.

What gave you that idea?

A sunlit church, this morning.

- What about it?
- Nothing, really.

I realised that
what was possible 2 years ago,

before I left for Paris,
no longer is.

What is possible now
won't be a year from now.

We can do something
together this summer:

Let's do it.

You're right.

Let's go to Rome.

- Can I stay for a few hours?
- There's enough room in the bed.

You can put your things
on the table.

Apparently, you've put on weight.

On the contrary, I lost weight.

Do you move a lot in your sleep?

I've been told I don't.

That's good.

Do you?

You'll find out soon enough.

Shall I blow out the candle?

I often sleep with a candle burning.

Good night, then.

What's the matter?

- It fell, but it didn't break.
- There's no problem, then.

I felt a little dizzy.

- Are you ill?
- No, I'm not ill.

You're pregnant.

- That's what I suspected.
- It doesn't show yet.

- Why work as a cleaning woman?
- To earn my living.

But you're educated.

But I prefer simple things.

- When do you expect the child?
- The beginning of February.

- Someone will have to replace me.
- It's still a long way off.

Is it a boy or a girl?

A girl.

JUNE 1971 - SEPTEMBER 1972

This year, I'm beginning
a master's degree in law,

next year, I'll apply
for Political Science School.

Are you going for a higher degree?

No, I prefer living.

What do you mean?

I'll start in September
with a trip to Greece.

With a girlfriend?

By myself.

A week after arriving in Greece,

I stopped off in this monastery.

I've been here a month, now.

I hear my own voice,

and perhaps something else.

I'm sending this letter
to the monastery,

for something tells me
you're still there.

I'm spending the Christmas holidays
in London,

with my friend Jacques'family.

I have some important news,

and I want you to be
the first to know. ;

I am engaged to Ath?na?s,

and we are getting married
in September.

We want you
to be our witness,

and I hope,
unless you've become a monk,

that you will be among us, then.

I think of you often.

There's Jules.

I'm sorry.

- My aeroplane was 2 hours late.
- It doesn't matter.

Ath?na?s is waiting over there
with her parents.

I see.

I'm really happy that you're with us.

So am I.

The bride is waiting
for us to go into the church.

Go on, old boy.
Sit near the altar.


Dear Jules,

It's been seven years now
since my wedding,

and five years
since we last met.

I've been told
you're in Paris now,

and that I could find you
at the Palette caf?.

When I went out last evening,

that's where I intended to go.

And then I did something strange.

I got into my car,
and without telling anyone,

I set out for ?milie's father's farm
in Normandy,

where I had never been.

I just had to know
what had become of that woman...

whom I hadn't seen in 9 years.

In this act, which goes beyond
my understanding,

you were strangely present.

I loved you.

I really loved you.

I've never loved another woman.

The man I gave myself to,
12 years ago,

I still love him.

But it's not the man
in front of me.

And the woman you loved

no longer exists.

- She's alive in you.
- As much as I was in her.

What do you do here?

Since my father died
I take care of the farm.

With somebody?

No. I live alone.

In these parts,
there's no doctor or nurse.

I look after people.

- Are you happy?
- I never sought happiness...

- only joy.
- Joy...

Have you found it?

I think so.


In the present.

Happiness is enough.

Have you found it?

I have a wife and 2 children.

I hope to have
a diplomatic mission soon.

That's what I expected from life.

I'm happy for you.

I could help you.

With material things, I mean.

Your life must be difficult.

Through material goods,
one can attain other things.

Not us.

Why not us?

What could we hear,
looking at each other face to face?

What could we hear?

What we heard.


In the past.

In my present, I hear nothing.

- But the time we spent together...
- It's all spent.

- What we gave one another...
- It's all given.

So then?

There remains nothing.


I haven't heard from you
for some time,

and I haven't written to you, either.

But I had a visit from Henri,
whom I hadn't seen in 9 years.

And it seems terribly important
to tell you another story,

which took place 2 years ago.

One night, I was awakened
by a knock at the door.

I'm wounded.


I'll look after you.

You haven't asked me how I got hurt.

I was in prison.

I escaped.

Give me your other hand.

I had to grip sharp spikes.

I was hanging there,
and it was driving into my hands.

Is it all right?

There you are.
I'm going to bandage your hands.

How did you know I do nursing?

I was told on the way.

I come from the jail of Caen.

I didn't ask anything.

But I told you.

I held up a driver.
I've got a gun.

- I don't care.
- What do you care about?

Tell me rather
what you're looking for.


- You've taken trouble to get out.
- Yes, I have.

- Because prison revolted you?
- No, it didn't.

My sentence was fair.

I killed a man.

Then why have you run away?

To find the end of evil.

Isn't it
in doing your sentence?

You said the sentence was fair.

That's what I said,
and I believe it, too.

But the end of evil
isn't in my sentence.

Where is it, then?

I don't know.
Surely in the outside world.

Here, perhaps.

There's nobody here but me.

Then perhaps, it's you.

I came here, not elsewhere.

- That's a coincidence.
- Not the least.

I can nurse you, as for evil,
there's nothing I can do.

I'm looking for a sign.

There you are.

- You had better leave, now.
- Not right away.

Tell me a name,

by which I'll remember you,
then leave.

- What name do you want?
- The one you decide.


Why "Jules"?

It's my first name,
nothing more commonplace.

Why are you looking at me?

- Because of the sign.
- The one I'm looking for?

I think so.

But I'm the one who's found it.


In my wounds.

The ones your name has made in me.

For the first time in 7 years,

I gave myself to a man,

who bore Christ's wounds
and your name.

It was the most important act
of my life.

I've got to tell you something
Henri doesn't know

and must never find out. ;

he's the father
of my 8-year-old girl.

I've entrusted her
to my husband in Paris.

Please, Jules,

go and see her.

My dear friend,

I shall always love you
as I love that child.

You're the visible signs
of my way in the world.

When we finally do meet,

nothing will remain
for us to know,

everything will remain
for us to give.

Dear Henri,

I've been waiting for
the right moment to contact you.

I never found it.

Time has separated us,
made us different.

And at the same time
we remain united,

in spite of absence,

by the mysterious force
which brought us together

when we were ignorant
of who we were.

Last night,
I saw a great light,

which must always
remain hidden in my silence.

But if ever there was a word
in my silence,

you would hear it.

You were right to come.

I'm trying to educate
the child's mind,

but you can watch over
something else in her.

What do you mean?

She has a sort of intelligence

which seeks less
to acquire from outside,

than to find out what she desires.

A love-intelligence.

Like her mother,
whom I didn't understand.

Have you still a grudge
against her?

With age, I've even lost
my resentment against...

- What is your friend's name?
- Henri.


I hear he's rather
a fine product, your Henri,

and he's making a lovely career.

I believe so.

I feel I had
a little hand in the making.

You probably did.

Go see the girl.
The staircase is that way.

Room 3,
the same your friend was in.

I never put another boarder in it.

Won't you introduce me?

- But I may frighten her.
- Nothing frightens her.

She's like her mother.

Come in.

Who are you?

- I want to speak to you.
- You're too tall.

Who are you?

A friend.

I have no friends.

Yes, you have.

Who are they?

There's me, to begin with.

I'm also a friend of your parents'.

I haven't got parents.

Everyone has.

I'm all alone.

Here, you're alone.

But elsewhere,
there are people you love.

When you're in bed,
you think about them.

If you love people,
you're not alone.

Whom do I think about?

You think about your mother,
and your father.

Who is my mother?

Her name is ?milie.

Where is she?

In the country.

What does she look like?

She's very beautiful.

What else?

- I don't know.
- What do you mean?

I've never seen her.

Not even a photo.

Then what are you talking about?

I know her very well.
She's my friend.

You said you've never seen her.

That's right.

But you can have friends
you've never seen.

I've seen her.

I know.

- I even slept with her once.
- When?

One night,
when there was a storm.

It's nice to sleep
with people you love.

You say I've got a father?

Who is he?

His name is Henri.

Yes. He's my friend.

Have you ever seen him?

Yes, I've seen him.

Have you ever slept with him?

Yes, actually. Once.

When there was a storm?

No, it was a very peaceful night.

Do you want to sleep with me?

I can't.

Each of us has to sleep alone.

But I'll be with you
night after night.

If I'm alone,
then you won't be with me.

I shall, because I'm your friend,

and friends are always together,
even when they're apart.

And I, shall I be with you?

Yes, you'll be with me.

Wherever I go,

I'll always see
the light of your window.

Tell my father that I'm with you.

I shall.

Are you going to see him?

Perhaps I will,

perhaps not.

If you don't see him,
how will you tell him?

In my way.

But he'll understand me,
because he's my friend.

You said that everything is possible
only at a single moment.

You were right.

But 12 years ago, the day we followed
the Savage to her cabin,

everything was possible,

for you and for me.

At that moment,
we parted on our separate ways.

We're not alike in the world,

and yet, fate was right
to bring us together,

for by a great mystery,

we are both wandering
in the same night.

From now on,

each will have
to follow his own path,

and give it a meaning.

Until the end, there will always be
a woman in our night,

the sign of the way
and its fulfilment,

where everything dissolves,

and everything is possible, again.

Processed by ECLAIR - Paris