Both Sides of the Blade

FRANCE – 2022 – DCP – color – 116’

Direction: Claire Denis
Screenplay: Christine Angot, Claire Denis dal romanzo di Christine Angot
Cinematography: Eric Gautier
Editing: Emmanuelle Pencalet, Sandie Bompar, Guy Lecorne
Set design: Arnaud De Moleron
Original music Tindersticks
Costumes: Judy Shrewsbury
Cast: Juliette Binoche (Sara), Vincent Lindon (Jean), Gregoire Colin (François), Bulle Ogier (Nelly), Issa Perica (Marcus), Alice Houri (employee of the commercial court), Mati Diop (Gabrielle), Bruno Podalydes (inauguration guest), Lola Creton (Lola), Richard Courcet (post office worker)
Production: Curiosa Film in coproduction with Cine +, Canal +, Canal + International
World Sales: Wild Bunch International
Italian distribution: Europictures s.r.l.


Paris, wintertime. Sarah and Jean love each other. They have lived together for several years. Their love renders them happy and strong. There is mutual trust in the relationship, and the desire between them never died. One morning (by chance?) Sarah crosses
paths with François, who introduced her to Jean; the very François she left for Jean, without hesitation.


Claire Denis is a French director and screenwriter, renowned for films including Chocolat, Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, 35 Shots of Rum, and Bastards. Born in Paris, Claire Denis lived in a number of African countries until the age of 12. Having returned
to France, she studied at the IDEHEC (Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques), where she met cinematographer Agnès Godard, who would later work on the majority of her films. She began her professional life in the cinema as assistant to major
directors like Robert Enrico, Wim Wenders, Costa Gavras and Jacques Rivette. She later worked with Jim Jarmusch on his film Down by Law.
In 1987, Claire Denis wrote and directed her first film, Chocolat . A semi-autobiographical story of racial tension in the colonial Africa of the 1950s at the moment of independence, the film premiered in Competition at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, was nominated at the César Awards and met with widespread critical acclaim in the US.
In 1996, she was awarded the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival for Nenette and Boni.
Beau Travail (1999), Trouble Every Day (2001), Friday Night (2002), 35 Shots of Rum (2008), White Material (2009), and Bastards (2013) – presented in Un
Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 – followed.
In 2017, Claire Denis returned to Cannes when Bright Sunshine In, featuring Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Alex Descas and Gérard Depardieu, screened as the opening film in Directors’ Fortnight.
In 2018, High Life is selected at Toronto Film Festival starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth.
Selected In Competition at the Berlin Film Festival, Both Sides of the Blade reunites Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon on screen together for the first time, earning them the Silver Bear Prize.
Meanwhile, Stars at Noon with Margaret Quelly et and Joe Alwyn earned the Grand Prix of the jury at Cannes.
Claire Denis has co-written the majority of her films with Jean-Pol Fargeau, but has also collaborated on scripts with Emmanuèle Bernheim (Friday Night ), Marie NDiaye (White Material) and Christine Angot (Bright Sunshine In, Both Sides of the Blade).

“Since we were in lockdown, Christine and I decided to work on something. It’s strange to say, but it’s sort of true: this film exists thanks to the lockdown. Christine is pretty bleak, and I’m more the anxious type. The collision of our torments was at times explosive. Like a battery, positive pole, negative pole, sparks flying. The writing process was lively. Things kept moving, happening fast. There was no inertia, but lots of merriment.
A film is like a house. The way I built this one, I didn’t need to add on extra rooms to make it livable. The texture of the characters is not in their biographies. It is in the moment. Their fleeting present – a few days in Paris in the winter –suffices. It is also for this reason that there are few outdoor scenes. Their own interiority serves as a slightly mysterious exteriority. They are like aliens teleported out of their habits.”


1988 Chocolat
1989 Man No Run (doc)
1990 S’en fout la mort (Al diavolo la morte, No Fear, No Die)
1993 J’ai pas sommeil (I Can’t Sleep)
1994 Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge… (U.S. Go Home, tv serie)
1995 A Propos De Nice (doc)
1996 Nénette et Boni (Nénette e Boni, Nénette and Boni)
1999 Beau Travail (idem)
2001 Trouble Every Day (Cannibal Love – Mangiata viva)
2002 Vendredi soir (Friday Night)
2005 L’intrus (The Intruder)
2008 35 rhums (35 Shots Of Rum)
2010 White Material
2013 Les salauds (Bastards)
2017 Un beau soleil intérieur (L’amore secondo Isabelle, Bright Sunshine In)
2018 High Life (idem)
2021 Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade)
2022 Stars At Noon


2022 Berlinale – Competition: Silver Bear for Best Director