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SFFILM Festival

Both Sides of the Blade

Directed by Claire Denis

France | 116

23 Apr
Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm PT


Master director Claire Denis reunites with Juliette Binoche to tell the passionate story of a woman torn between two men. Binoche plays radio host Sara, currently married to Jean (Vincent Lindon), a former rugby star. When her ex-lover, François (Gregoire Colin), re-enters their orbit with a job offer for Jean and a romantic reconnection with Sara, the ensuing emotional turmoil wreaks havoc on all their lives. Female passion has long fascinated Denis, depicted in films that veer comedic (Let the Sunshine In, 2017; Nenette and Boni, Festival 1996) or more dramatic (Friday Night, Festival 2002). Both Sides of the Blade is in the latter vein, as the actors traverse the landscapes of their characters’ hearts with all the heat that the title implies. Frequent collaborator Stuart Staples of Tindersticks provides the evocative score.

This program was formerly titled Fire.

Director Claire Denis

After studying film at L’Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC), Claire Denis began her career as an assistant director, working on such projects as Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie (1974), Costa-Gravas’ Hanna K. (1983), and Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1984) and Wings of Desire (Festival 1988). In 1988, she made her feature writing/directing debut with Chocolat, and has gone to establish herself, in the words of David Thomson as, “one of the most intriguing and provocative filmmakers of any kind.” Among her films are I Can’t Sleep (Festival 1995), Nénette and Boni (Festival 1997), Beau Travail (Festival 2000), 35 Shots of Rum (Festival 2009), White Material (2009), Let the Sunshine In (2017), and High Life (Festival 2019). In 2021, she was awarded the Jean Vigo Honorary Prize for her body of work. She received the Berlin International Film Festival’s Best Director Silver Berlin Bear for Both Sides of the Blade (2022).

Film Details

Language French

Original Language Title Avec amour et acharnement

Year 2022

Runtime 116

Country France

Director Claire Denis

Executive Producer Christine De Jekel

Producer Olivier Delbosc

Writer Christine Angot, Claire Denis

Editor Sandie Bompar, Guy Lecorne, Emmanuelle Pencalet

Cinematographer Eric Gautier

Music Stuart Staples

Cast Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, Grégoire Colin

Closed Captions Closed captions are not available for this screening.

Audio Description Audio description is not available for this screening.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is not currently scheduled for this event. For more information about ASL interpretation at our events, e-mail ADA@SFFilm.org.