A 30-year-old frustrated and neurotic orphan leaves the orphanage where he had stayed on to work having turned 18. His goal... to find out the true facts of his birth. Faced with the authorities refusal to give him his dossier, he burgles the social welfare office and... discovers the terrifying truth: He was found in a bin, probably dumped by his parents. Unable to accept this version he concocts another somewhat more fabulous scenario: His parents had fallen victim to a Mafia plot. He had been kidnapped and dumped in a garbage chute. Today, his parents are still alive... they need his help!
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"Gilles Laurent (co-screenwriter) and I had wanted to build a story around the quest for identity, while keeping the slant "social", in the concrete sense of the word. Bernie is a neurotic character who for thirty years has been asking himself who he is and where he comes from. At first, he's got few keys at his disposal with which to understand the outside world, even more so given that his orphanage was in the country. But he has his ways, his logic; he's really instinctive. He musters a desperate and pathetic effort to understand life. Which is why he invents a better world from scratch, and his own American thriller style story. So, I could sum up "Bernie" in one sentence: "A frustrated being transforms the tragedy of his birth into an American-style thriller". What human being could accept the fact of such rejection at birth? None. So from that moment on Bernie turns his life into a movie, a naïve puerile fiction worthy of a cartoon strip. He's a chunk of childhood in an adult's body."