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France, 1997 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: François Ozon

See the Sea, the most ambitious film in a recent trilogy of shorts and featurettes by prolific French director François Ozon, portrays the clash between the worlds of two women. Alone with her baby on the Ile d'Yeu, Sasha, a young British mother, agrees to let dour backpacker Tatiana pitch a tent on her property. Sasha's solitude prompts her to invite Tatiana for dinner despite the latter's dark character. Inexorably Tatiana makes her strange presence felt as she becomes closer to both mother and baby, the consequences of which will not pleasant...

Ozon's gift is for communicating much that is left unspoken. He gradually reveals, with ample assistant from a first rate cast, that the two women share a reciprocal envy that remains largely unspoken. Tatiana covets Sasha's settled status, security and parenthood. Conversely, Sasha yearns for freedom and independence symbolised by the traveller and is fascinated by Tatiana's predatory attitude. A modestly staged but narratively complex film that is guaranteed to linger in the memory of viewers.

"François Ozon manipulates audience expectations with considerable authority, creating a complex psychological minefield from what is basically a simple two-hander. The location's unpopulated beaches, woods and hills serve to hint at both beauty and menace, and the uneasy tone is deftly echoed in the performances of both Hails and de Van." - David Rooney, Variety

François Ozon was born in 1967 and studied film and direction at FEMIS. He has been turning out films practically annually since graduation, focussing on recurring themes such as transgression and sexuality.

See also...


A beautiful elaboration on personal loss and what it means to be left alone. In a film radically removed from his past works, Francois Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks MIFF 2000) again shows ... More »


Francois Ozon's feature-length debut—after more than a dozen shorts and featurettes (including MIFF 1998's See the Sea)—is an hilarious black comedy, irreverent, wacky, weird and ... More »

5 X 2

A festival favourite, François Ozon returns with a thoroughly affecting excavation of love. The forensic 5x2 won the Pasinetti Award, for Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's remarkable performance as ... More »


Direct from Cannes, the chameleon-like Francois Ozon returns to MIFF screens with two of his favourite actors, Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand, MIFF 2001) and Ludivine Sagnier (Water Drops on ... More »


Based on a play by legendary German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Water Drops on Burning Rocks is a playful yet perverse study in sexual game playing. Structured around four tightly constructed ... More »


Somewhere in a block of apartments a couple wakes up in the morning of January 1st, 2000. As they enter upon a new day at a leisurely pace they find themselves under an unexpected attack. Simple in ... More »

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