Anatomy of a Fall
For the past year, Sandra, a German writer, her French husband Samuel, and their eleven-year-old son Daniel have lived a secluded life in a remote town in the French Alps. When Samuel is found dead in the snow below their chalet, the police question whether he committed suicide or was killed. Samuel's death istreated as suspicious, presumed murder, and Sandra becomes the main suspect. Little by little the trial becomes not just an investigation of the circumstances of Samuel's death, but an unsettling psychological journey into the depths of Sandra and Samuel's conflicted relationship.
Original Title: Anatomie d'une chute
Original Language: French, English
Production Countries: France
Duration: 150 min.
Directed by: Justine Triet
Written by: Justine Triet, Arthur Harari
Produced by: Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion
Cinematography: Simon Beaufils
Editing: Laurent Sénéchal
Production Design: Emmanuelle Duplay
Costume Design: Isabelle Pannetier
Make-Up: Aurélie Cerveau, Aude Thomas
Sound: Julien Sicart, Fanny Martin, Jeanne Delplancq, Olivier Goinard
Visual Effects: Hugues Namur
Casting Director: Cynthia Arra
Cast: Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado Graner, Antoine Reinartz
About the director
Justine Triet is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her first films question the place of the individual within the group. Sur Place (2007) was shot during the student demonstrations and Solférino (2008) during the presidential elections. In 2009, she directed Des Ombres dans la Maison in a township of Saõ Paulo. Her first fiction short, Vilaine Fille, Mauvais Garçon (Two Ships), won a number of prizes at French and international festivals (European Film Award, Berlinale 2012; Grand Prix, Angers First Look; Grand Prix, Belfort; preselection for best short, 2013 Césars). Her debut feature La Bataille de Solférino (Age of Panic) was selected for ACID in Cannes 2013 and nominated for a 2014 César in the Best First Film category. Victoria, her second feature, opened the Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2016. Starring Virginie Efira, the film was nominated for five Césars, including Best Film and Best Actress. Sibyl, her third feature, was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Anatomy of a Fall is her fourth feature and also set to premiere in Competition in the Official Selection of Cannes 2023.
My intention was to create a film that portrays the downfall of a couple's relationship. The concept was to depict the physical and emotional descent of a body in a technical manner, symbolizing the decline of their love story.
This couple has a son who discovers their tumultuous relationship during a trial that scrutinizes every aspect of their past. As the trial unfolds, the boy transitions from a state of complete trust in his mother to one of doubt, marking a crucial turning point in his life. The film follows this transformation closely.
In my previous films, children were present but silent, merely existing in the background. However, in this film, I wanted to incorporate the child's perspective into the narrative and juxtapose it with Sandra's, the main character, for a more balanced portrayal of the events.
The film took on the form of an extended interrogation, with scenes shifting from the couple's home to the courtroom, where characters are incessantly questioned. I aimed to bring a sense of realism, approaching a documentary style both in the writing and the cinematography. However, I also wanted to delve deeper into the intricacies of the story and evoke a range of emotions in the audience. In pursuit of this goal, I opted for greater simplicity: the absence of additional music and a raw, unembellished tone that sets this film apart from my earlier works. (Justine Triet)