The Life of Jesus


Freddy – Fred – lives with his mother, Yvette, in Bailleul. She runs the café, “Au Petit Casino”, the center of a chaffinch* club. Treated at the Bailleul specialized hospital for epileptic fits, Freddy spends most of his time vegetating with his pals. They’re not even twenty, rural, relatively uneducated, and already inveterate unemployed, hanging around all day long on their motorbikes. Fred has a girlfriend – his love – the beautiful Marie, who works as a checkout girl in a giant supermarket. They often make love at Fred’s home without his mother saying anything about it. But Freddy doesn’t go into the home of Marie who lives a bit up the street. They stay out in front, for hours on end, making out on the sidewalk. Often they remain clinging to one another: he seated on his propped up motorbike and Marie standing next against him, remaining for what seems like forever without saying anything, as if they were praying. Several times a day, Freddy and his pals, Miche, Gégé, Robert and Quin, go shopping in town and in the country on their motorbikes – they even play “chicken” with a mysterious 205 GTI and invent tests of strength. On Sundays, they go as far as Dunkirk to swim or “cruise” downtown. Although he’s not clever, Freddy is nice. A simple boy, a country boy. He often gives rise to pity, although one can sense developing in him an energy, a power in his look, his strange postures, his words, his attitudes. It is through this chronicle of the life of Freddy that emerges a story that is to slowly unfurl as a drama. (* Note: On Sundays in the north of France, there are chaffinch contests. Each player comes with his chaffinch that he has trained and notches with a piece of chalk a long piece of wood the number of trills).




Cannes Film Festival
* Golden Camera d’Or – Special Mention

Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema
* Golden Palm

Avignon Film Festival
* Prix Tournage

Chicago International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival
* Best New International Feature

British Film Institute Awards
* Sutherland Trophy for Best First Feature

London Film Festival
* Best Film

São Paolo International Film Festival
* International Jury Award

Taormina International Film Festival
* Best Actor David Douche

Jean Vigo Award 1997
* Best First European Film

European Film Awards
European discovery of the year – Fassbinder Award

Césars Awards
Nomination Best First Work

Louis Delluc Prize

Cyril Collard Award


Alexandria International Film Festival
* Best First Feature
* Best Supporting Actor Kader Chaatouf

Riga International Film Festival
* Arsenals Award Best Film

“Actors on Screen”
* Michel Simon Award for Marjorie Cottreel

Union de la Critique de Cinéma
* Grand Prix