Thursday, March 10, 2016

812. S'en fout la mort

S'en fout la mort
No Fear, No Die
Directed by Claire Denis

Really?  A movie about cock fighting?  I think a lot of my readers think I am squeamish when it comes to unpleasant topics in film.  That is certainly the case here, as I am really against animal cruelty (and don't call me a hypocrite because I am a vegetarian).  Of course, the Book really doesn't care and continues to feature movies where animals' throats are slit on camera.  At least here no animals were actually harmed.

Dah and Jocelyn decide to pair up and organize illegal cockfights.  Jocelyn is more attached to the roosters than Dah, with his favorite bird being No Fear, No Die.  The duo take on another partner, Pierre, who owns a space with a nausea-inducing light show.  Pierre urges Jocelyn and Dah to make the fights more violent by adding razor blades and spurs to the mix.  Jocelyn begins to lose it, with his growing attachment to Pierre's wife not helping matters.

Chances are that unless you are following the List, you haven't heard of this movie, as it only has two IMDb reviews (one of which is written by someone who worked on the film).  I think it is a hard movie to make heads or tails of (HA! Animal humor), but I may be over thinking it.  I felt like the director wasn't very concerned with making a statement about animal cruelty.  She seemed more intent on making a comment on race, although what that comment was, I am not sure.

An interesting one to contemplate, but I definitely could have avoided it.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

First of eight collaborations between in Claire Denis and Alex Descas.


  1. I was quite surprised of the "no animal was harmed" notice. Really? I would like to know what's the definition of "harm" the filmmakers were handling there. It is true that the cockfights are not shown entirely but the "training" scenes seem pretty hard for the cocks. Not to speak of the plucking of feather and the "blood" (was it paint?).

    That was really uncomfortable. Seriously, I have more than enough with one sadistic show involving animals in my country. At least, cockfights were mercifully banned here.

    1. Agreed. Maybe they weren't killed, but I highly doubt this was a humane way to treat them.

  2. Read at the IMDb comments: 'I would also like to point out that the cockfights in the film look very real but in filming them it was executed so well that no harm was ever done to any animals. It took many, many hours of shooting and many takes to make it look real - and lots of fake blood. Of course they were put into the ring and they hopped around on each other and began to get aggressive but then it would be stopped. Thus the words "no animals were harmed during the making of this film" is true. It was important to show that this type of thing was going on at the time (many people didn't believe it), and how brutal it was.'