french films > They came back

They came back

They came back

cast: Géraldine Pailhas, Jonathan Zaccaï, Frederic Pierrot, Bruno Cremer

year: 2004

colour: yes


director: Robin Campillo

runtime: 110

The dead have returned... and are undergoing an existential crisis. It could only happen in French cinema, but Robin Campillo's hugely original drama takes a timeless horror-movie trope, empties it of the expected chills, and uses it as a vehicle for another kind of unease entirely, one rooted in the everyday and in real human emotion. The film begins with an image that could be straight from any George Romero movie, as armies of the reanimated walk out of a graveyard in broad daylight. Everyone who's died in the last ten years has mysteriously returned to life, and in one French town, thirteen thousand people are back on the scene. Campillo asks the questions that don't normally get asked in such stories. How will the families of the dead cope with their return, having struggled with their grieving? How will the revenants readjust to life? And can the dead hold down a job? An audacious genre reworking, They Came Back is philosophically rich and intensely, though subtly moving. It's a striking first feature by the co-writer and editor of Laurent Cantet's films, including Heading South, a highlight of this year's Festival.


Comments are moderated. They are displayed after an administrator validation.


You can reload the captcha by clicking on it