- Director: Vincent Le Port
- Writer: Vincent Le Port
- Producer: Roy Arida, Thierry Lounas, Olivier Père, Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun
Bruno Reidal is the perfect confessor. He's eloquent, detailed and precise. He makes no assumptions and blames no-one but himself. He did the crime. He will take the punishment.
Once upon a time...if you murdered, you automatically received the death penalty, an eye for an eye. Thankfully, the law changed and 'Fitness to stand trial/fitness to plead' was introduced. The legal process was forever altered!
Was Bruno Reidal insane? That's the crux of the story.
Catch 22...and, Vincent Le Port starts playing with his audience. Is he mad or isn't he mad? He must be mad, look what he did! He can't be mad, he's educated, articulate...he knew what he was doing! Did he? Was it temporary insanity? He's sane now! Is he?
As complex as it sounds, Monsieur Le Port keeps it grounded...relatable even, apart from the heinous deed itself. There are moments of empathy for Bruno, in part due to the implosively subdued performance by Dimitri Doré - his first screen role.
France's last execution, by guillotine, took place in Marseille in 1977...decades before, Bruno Reidal beheaded a boy. Was he [temporarily] insane? He, according to this film, claimed to be...just himself.
Hamida Djandoubi was that last state-sanctioned victim of the guillotine...he, unsuccessfully, claimed temporary insanity!
As complex as it sounds...indeed, it is as complex as it needs to be.
An astonishing film...one that will leave you thinking...beyond your usual realm-of-thought.
[And, if you are a criminal lawyer, it will leave you thinking even more and wanting/needing to get your hands on the case notes!]
In 1905, French seminarian Bruno Reidel is found guilty of murdering a child. At the request of the doctors observing him, he writes his memoirs to explain his action.