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Un étrange voyage

Un étrange voyage

A Feature film by Alain Cavalier

Produced by Les Productions de la Guéville

Release in France : 04/02/1981


    A father-daughter relationship is melded, strained, and deepened by a shared angst: the grandmother in the family left her home by train and never arrived at her destination. The father Pierre (Jean Rochefort) is distraught that the police could basically dismiss the issue as inexplicable, and he decides to retrace on foot the voyage his mother should have made. His daughter Amelie (Camille de Casablanca) goes with him, and the story evolves as the two walk along the train tracks, searching in the nearby terrain and bushes for any evidence that might point to what happened. Along the way, their once antagonistic and distanced relationship (Amelie is a student, her father is a picture-restorer) begins to work itself out...

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    Actors (16)

    Production and distribution (3)

    Executive Producer :

    Les Productions de la Guéville

    Film exports/foreign sales :


    Co-production :

    Antenne 2


    Point of view

    Between Paris and Troyes, an old lady riding on a train disappears... That's the beginning of very strange trip... A railroad movie, maybe the first of them all and maybe the only one, as there are plenty of road movies. Her son (Jean Rochefort), helped by his daughter (played by Alain Cavalier's daughter), sets off : he will walk the 150 miles between the two cities once he is certain that his mother fell from the train.

    This is an offbeat film, very original ; it's not a detective story, though it sometimes verges on it ; it's not a fantasy film though the atmosphere is often eerie, disturbing, even threatening. Cavalier superbly uses the landscapes all along the railroad track as his two characters search the bushes, the ditches, the tunnels. The farther they go, the unlikelier their attempt seems to come to something.

    Cavalier never tells us so,and he does not use any flashbacks either, but Rochefort's character has got something of a child. His harrowing voice crying "mom! come back!" when the night falls down on the railway stations and the tracks will drive you to tears. His marriage is on the rocks, his life seems to be an unfulfilled one,and this search has become the true meaning of his life.

    On the other hand, the girl's character is cardboard: the clichéd post-68 student who refuses the Establishment, we have seen it so many times! All the scenes that deal with "the students life" and the police "who cannot understand " are sheer rubbish. Fortunately it's only ten minutes : everytime Cavalier returns to Rochefort's pitiful character, he makes his movie a winner.

    Un étrange voyage although devoid of dreamlike sequences or flashbacks, is a spiritual quest. In Le plein de super (1976), a road-movie, the four lads, coming back home on a train, were already questioning themselves. After Un étrange voyage, it would be six years before Cavailer made another film : and it was a quest of the absolute, since it was a biography of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, Thérèse, a great success.

    Source : IMDb

    Full credits (12)

    Assistant directors :

    Patrick Dewolf, Georges Manuélis

    Sound Recordist :

    Alain Lachassagne

    Assistant Operator :

    Gérard Stérin

    Editor :

    Joëlle Hache

    Music Composer :

    Maurice Le Roux

    Sound Mixer :

    Claude Villand

    Producers :

    Danièle Delorme, Yves Robert

    Screenwriters :

    Camille de Casabianca, Alain Cavalier

    Production manager :

    Charlotte Fraisse

    Assistant editor :

    Isabelle Dedieu

    Foley artist :

    Jonathan Liebling

    Location managers :

    Denise Cassotti, Sylvain Hecht

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :


    Themes :

    Wandering, Travel

    Production language :


    Production country :


    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    100% French (France)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    1 h 40 min

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Color type :


    Audio format :