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Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is

A Feature film by Robert Guédiguian

Produced by Agat Films & Cie / Ex Nihilo

Release in France : 09/12/1998

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Actors (18)

Production and distribution (4)

Executive Producer :

Agat Films & Cie / Ex Nihilo

Film exports/foreign sales :

Diaphana Films

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Box office: Timeline

International releases (19)

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In a poor neighborhood of Marseille, 16-year-old Clim falls in love with François, an adopted black youth aged 18 but known as Bébé. Accused of rape, Bébé is sent to jail. The pregnant Clim recounts their story to the unborn child in her womb. Both families mount a campaign to rebut the false charges of rape while Bébé and Clim wait it out, sacrificing their youth and their innocence to this ordeal, but reaching out to all those people who still have a heart where their heart belongs.


Where people used to have a heart, what do they have these days? The answer’s in doubt, and let me just say I find that worrying. It’s no longer the specter of Communism that’s haunting Europe and the world, it’s the specter of ethnic war. A specter that raises its head whenever tough times arrive. Which makes the ‘New York–Marseille–Sarajevo’ equation instructive. Different countries, different periods, different religions, different societies—same tough times. The twentieth-century can claim to have invented the very concept of genocide. So as this century with its non-stop horrors comes to a close, the parable behind the film is simple: it supposes that ‘heart’ is the last rampart, the only rampart, or maybe just the current rampart against all the disasters that continue to befall us with alarming regularity. The film tries to get down to primal, archaic things, to use a glance, a smile, a tear, or a few words or gestures to show that no theory can completely explain this world. It seeks to reveal the characters in all their beauty, grandeur and essence—in short, all their sacredness. It’s about the times and places when life encompasses humanity in its entirety and—above all—its eternity. (Robert Guédiguian)

Full credits (13)

Executive Producer :

Gilles Sandoz

Screenwriters :

Robert Guédiguian, Jean-Louis Milesi

Director of Photography :

Bernard Cavalié

Press Attaché (film) :

Marie-Christine Damiens

Assistant editor :

Valérie Meffre

Music Composer :

Jacques Menichetti

Sound Mixer :

Dominique Gaborieau

Assistant Director :

Jacques Reboud

Co-producer :

Michel Saint-Jean

Sound Recordist :

Laurent Lafran

Editor :

Bernard Sasia

Production Designer :

Michel Vandestien

French Distributor :

Michel Saint-Jean

Technical details

Feature film

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Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French (France)

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French release :


Runtime :

1 h 53 min

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Audio format :

Dolby SR

Posters (1)


Festival Selections (8)

TIFF - 2002

TIFF (Canada, 2002)


Spotlight on Robert Guédiguian

Sydney French Film Festival - 2000

Sydney French Film Festival (Australia, 2000)


Films selected

Melbourne French Film Festival - 2000

Melbourne French Film Festival (Australia, 2000)


Films selected

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - 1999

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic, 1999)


Retrospective - French Regional cinema

San Sebastian International Film Festival - 1998

San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain, 1998)


Official Competition

Montreal World Film Festival - 1998

Montreal World Film Festival (Canada, 1998)


Cinema of Tomorrow