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Luc Kaufman, a hapless young man in his thirties, is inadvertently drawn into the murder of two police officers when he breaks into his father’s house. Manipulated by Alissa, a beautiful and mysterious Lithuanian, Luc finds himself mixed up in a vendetta between old rivals from behind the Iron Curtain. Luc’s father and a Russian ex-dissident turned politician are bonded by the secret of what they both know about a murder. Alissa, driven by vengeance and Luc, just for the fun of it while he’s falling in love, will use lies of their own to uncover the truth.
This film is about paternal relationships, even if it wasn’t deliberate on my part. Luc’s father, Kaufmann, is a publisher, and sees everything in terms of culture and the written word. In his world, everything is decoded in terms of intelligent phrases and cultured allusions, which means avoiding directly expressing the main thing. And that leads to a lack of simple gestures, an absence of tenderness and true caring. There’s a great sentence in Bernard Frank’s novel, “Les Rats.” When his hero goes swimming with a girl on the Riviera, he comments, “I had the feeling I’d read about this swim.” That’s exactly it: the trap in which everything has already been experienced, everything is déjà-vu, there’s no authentic life. Luc’s father has this very cynical relationship to life that Luc strongly and instinctively rejects. (Didier Goldschmidt)