Très bien, merci

France 2007, Feature film, 102' | Director, Screenplay Emanuelle Cuau | DoP Bruno de Keyzer | Editor Jackie Bastide | Sound Emanuel Soland | Cast Gilbert Melki, Sandrine Kiberlain, Oliver Cruveiller, Christophe Odent

It all begins with a cigarette that Alex, a respectable normal citizen, lights up shortly before leaving a metro station. Called to task by the ticket inspectors, he refuses to pay the fine required. On the way home, he then witnesses an ID check. Again, he refuses to move along, despite repeated instructions to do so. After all, he sees it is as his civil right to stand where he wants to stand. Whereupon a totally merciless and absurd machinery grinds into motion.

Alex is arrested and put in a drying-out cell. When, the next morning, he demands an explanation and asks to see a superior officer, he is transferred to a psychiatric clinic. He is kept there for several months and eventually loses his job. Following his release, Alex experiences at first hand just how difficult it is to find new employment. Until his friend Landier gives him a helping hand …

Although disguised as a light comedy, Très bien, merci is in fact a political film. The kafkaesque (or, as one is wont to say in France, sarcokafkaesque) story is based on true incidents. Emanuelle Cuau shows in a highly unsettling way how individual rights can evaporate in the face of state paranoia and how fatefully the cogwheels of justice can affect people's lives.


EMANUELLE CUAU studied film direction and screenplay at La Fémis film school in Paris. She has worked as an author with Jacques Rivette and Pascal Bonitzer among others. In 1993, she made the documentary film De Tokyo. In 1995 Emanuelle Cuau brought out her first feature-length film Circuit Carole.

Emanuelle Cuau
Feature Film