For the past year, Sandra, a German writer, her French husband Samuel, and their eleven-year-old son Daniel have lived a secluded life in a remote town in the French Alps. When Samuel is found dead in the snow below their chalet, the police question whether he committed suicide or was killed. Samuel's death is treated as suspicious, presumed murder, and Sandra becomes the main suspect. Little by little the trial becomes not just an investigation of the circumstances of Samuel's death, but an unsettling psychological journey into the depths of Sandra and Samuel's conflicted relationship.

Director's Statement

My intention was to create a film that portrays the downfall of a couple's relationship. The concept was to depict the physical and emotional descent of a body in a technical manner, symbolizing the decline of their love story.
This couple has a son who discovers their tumultuous relationship during a trial that scrutinizes every aspect of their past. As the trial unfolds, the boy transitions from a state of complete trust in his mother to one of doubt, marking a crucial turning point in his life. The film follows this transformation closely.
In my previous films, children were present but silent, merely existing in the background. However, in this film, I wanted to incorporate the child's perspective into the narrative and juxtapose it with Sandra's, the main character, for a more balanced portrayal of the events.
The film took on the form of an extended interrogation, with scenes shifting from the couple's home to the courtroom, where characters are incessantly questioned. I aimed to bring a sense of realism, approaching a documentary style both in the writing and the cinematography. However, I also wanted to delve deeper into the intricacies of the story and evoke a range of emotions in the audience. In pursuit of this goal, I opted for greater simplicity: the absence of additional music and a raw, unembellished tone that sets this film apart from my earlier works.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Justine Triet

Written by: Justine Triet, Arthur Harari

Produced by: Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion

Cinematography: Simon Beaufils

Editing: Laurent Sénéchal

Production Design: Emmanuelle Duplay

Costume Design: Isabelle Pannetier

Make-Up & Hair: Aurelie Cerveau, Aude Thomas

Sound: Julien Sicart, Fanny Martin, Jeanne Delplancq, Olivier Goinard

Visual Effects: Hugues Namur

Casting: Cynthia Arra

Cast: Sandra Hüller (Sandra), Swann Arlaud (Vincent), Milo Machado Graner (Daniel), Antoine Reinartz (L'avocat général)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Editing 2023
  • European Director 2023
  • European Actress 2023
  • European Screenwriter 2023
  • European Film 2023
  • European University Film Award 2023
  • Feature Film Selection 2023