Auditorium DAMSLab > 16:45


André Bonzel
Introduced by

André Bonzel


Thursday 30/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Telling one’s own story through the images of others is a nice idea, at once modest and generous, entailing all that film – and only film – can produce in terms of shared experience…
A name, Bonzel, that may be known to cinephiles is someone who, in 1992, together with Rémy Belvaux and Benoît Poelvoorde, put his name to C’est arrivé près de chez vous, a prickling Belgian reality-TV satire about a serial killer. Bonzel was the French cameraman in this unholy trinity, who joined forces while they were at INSAS, the famous Brussels film school. From what we know, a strangely unfortunate fate ensued for actor Benoît Poelvoorde and more tragically for Rémy Belvaux, who took his own life in 2006 after embarking on a career in publicity film production; Bonzel disappeared from view.
At 60, he reappeared with this montage film, a gem of sensibility and emotion… As Bonzel explains in the introduction to the film, which he himself narrates, he used family movies that he had been collecting all his life. In the images provided by dozens of anonymous amateurs showing good-natured, happy family photos, captured on celluloid and incorruptible, there emerges a personal story, more sombre, more fragmented, more mysterious; we soon understand the justification for resorting to the filmed happiness of others in the writing of that story… A cold, unloving father, a very devout mother; André Bonzel’s childhood did not match the idyllic picture of home life of those family movies… By contrast, it was a childhood friend’s father who, by screening slapstick comedy reels for his son’s band of chums, inspired in André not only a belief in the existence of happiness, but also his love of cinema. By virtue of this he soon fled the drab circle of his nuclear family, and set about broadening the scope of his camera.

Jacques Mandelbaum, Et j’aime à la fureur: journal intime sur pellicules anonymes, “Le Monde”, 20 April 2022

Cast and Credits

Scen.: André Bonzel. M.: Svetlana Vaynblat, Thomas Marchand, André Bonzel. Mus.: Benjamin Biolay. Prod.: Garance Cosimano per Les Films du Poisson, Les Artistes Asociaux Productions. DCP. D.: 96’. Bn e Col.