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Waiting For The Barbarians

Eugène Green
En attendant les barbares
France 2017 / 76’
The Workshop Zama

A one-of-a-kind film by Eugène Green. Baroque paintings, Arthurian legends and 17th-century theater allow the director to discuss, in a slightly jocular tone, the contemporary fears of Europeans. Although no one has seen them yet, the eponymous barbarians are coming, at least that's whatsocial media is telling us. To hide from danger, a group of travelers knock at the gate of a magician. He agrees to let them in on one condition: they have to leave their mobile phones behind. The night they spend together among spirits emerging from the darkness like something out of a Caravaggio painting, different faiths and stage gestures transforms into a cleansing rite of passage. Sound a bit out there? Contrary to appearances, this clash of different inspirations and registers, erudition and a sense of humor, cinema and theater results in a surprisingly coherent, unique whole. With his deep ties to European tradition, Green wouldn't be himself if he didn't suggest between the lines-with a slight wink-that the real barbarity threatening Europe is American pop culture.

Mariusz Mikliński


Gijón International Film Festival 2017 - Best Film

Eugène Green

Eugène Green is a director, actor, writer and erudite. Born in New York in 1947, he has had connections to France throughout his professional life. He opened the Théâtre de la Sapience in 1977. He was already 54 when he made his film debut with Toutes les nuits, for which he received a French critics' award. He made the triptych Memories together with Pedro Costa and Harun Farocki. His fascination with the culture of Western Europe in the 17th century can also be seen in his earlier films, Le pont des ArtsThe Portuguese Nun and La Sapienza.

Selected filmography

2001 Toutes les nuits

2003 Le monde vivant / The Living World

2004 Most artystów / Le pont des Arts

2006 Les signes (short)

2009 Portugalska zakonnica / A religiosa Portuguesa / The Portuguese Nun

2014 Sapientia / Sapience

2016 Syn Józefa / The Son of Joseph / Le Fils de Joseph

Cast & Crew

director Eugène Green
screenplay Eugène Green
cinematography Raphaël o'Byrne
editing Laurence Larre
cast Fitzgerald Berthon, Hélène Gratet, Arnaud Vrech, Chloé Chevalier, Ugo Broussot, Anne-Sophie Bailly
production Chantiers Nomades
sales Chantiers Nomades
language French
colouration colour