Hattu used stories by several women with husbands in jail to create the equally basic and alienating story of a sweltering three-cornered relationship. Maïté is a young woman whose husband Vincent has been locked up for seven years. She visits him, does his washing and goes home lonely. One day she is approached by Jean. He makes advances and Maïté, robbed of her love life, eventually goes along. Torn between loneliness and warmth, guilt and desire, she is in fact just as imprisoned as Vincent. By going along with Jean, she loses and wins. When it turns out that Jean is one of her husband's prison guards, the relationships get even more complex because Vincent and Jean also have their own understanding.
Hattu captures the motives that are increasingly difficult to fathom in this amorous power-play in simple and uncomplicated scenes, in which the camera seems more directed by the body language than by dialogue. The director observes with still and unemphatic camera angles. This results in a tactile, but subtle cinema in which the painful storylines are never played to the extreme. A film about the simple desire to survive in an impossible situation. (SdH)

Director
Jean-Pascal Hattu
Country of production
France
Production Year
2006
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Length
86'
Medium
35mm
International title
7 Years
Language
French
Producer
Justin Taurand
Production Companies
Les Films du Bélier, Pyramide International
Sales
Pyramide International
Screenplay
Jean-Pascal Hattu, Gilles Taurand, Guillome Daporta
Cinematography
Pascal Poucet
Editor
Anna Klotz
Sound Design
Yolande Decarsin, Xavier Piroulle
Music
Franck Delabre
Cast
Valérie Donzelli, Cyril Troley
Website
http://distrib.pyramidefilms.com/pyramide-distribution-catalogue/7-ans.html