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Empty Quarter

Empty Quarter

A Feature film by Raymond Depardon

Produced by Palmeraie et Désert

Release in France : 16/10/1985


    A man invites a woman to share his room in a hostel in Djibouti because she seems to have some problems. Gradually he falls in love with her. They embark on a trip to the towns in the desert and, on the way, they learn more about each other. The man never appears on screen, so the camera becomes his point of view.

    Source : IMDb


    Production and distribution (4)

    Executive Producer :

    Palmeraie et Désert

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Pari Films

    Co-productions :

    France 3 Cinéma, Double D Copyright Films

    French distribution :

    Pari Films


    Point of view

    For his first fiction feature, Raymond Depardon chooses a radical device to direct the passionate love of a man for a woman: never see him never hear him; he is only present thanks to his voice-over and the camera-glances of this woman. Kind of a shape of a subjective point of view is anchored in the first sequences. Yet, despite a hand-held shot, sound and visual clues strangely disturb this subjective point of view; an unexpected objective internal sound linked to the female character and the questions asked to the voice-over-character remain unanswered. The audience is imperceptibly led to ask itself questions on the status of this voice-over: varying time-scale, « improbable dialogue » between voice-over and voice-in, mere existence of this voice over character... In Empty Quarter, the voice-over becomes a real character telling a story which is both lived and fantasized.

    Source :



    Full credits (5)

    Producer :

    François Margolin

    Director of Photography :

    Raymond Depardon

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Experimental, Fiction

    Themes :

    Love, Exile

    Production language :


    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    100% French

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    1 h 25 min

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Production formats :


    Color type :


    Posters (1)


    Festival Selections (2)

    Cannes International Film Festival - 1985

    Cannes International Film Festival (France, 1985)


    Un Certain Regard