Screened as part of NZIFF 2017

Heal the Living 2016

Réparer les vivants

Directed by Katell Quillévéré

A catastrophic accident leaves one family in ruins and bestows another with precious hope in a hospital drama immeasurably enhanced by the delicate sensitivity of Katell Quillévéré’s script and the poetic force of her direction.

Belgium / France In French with English subtitles
103 minutes CinemaScope / DCP


David Thion
Justin Taurand
Philippe Martin


Katell Quillévéré
Gilles Taurand. Based on the novel by Maylis de Kerangal


Tom Harari


Thomas Marchand

Production designer

Dan Bevan

Costume designer

Isabelle Pannetier


Alexandre Desplat


Tahar Rahim (Thomas Rémige)
Emmanuelle Seigner (Marianne)
Anne Dorval (Claire)
Bouli Lanners (Pierre Révol)
Kool Shen (Vincent)
Monia Chokri (Jeanne)
Alice Taglioni (Anne Guérande)
Karim Leklou (Virgilio Breva)
Alice de Lencquesaing (Alice Harfang)
Finnegan Oldfield (Maxime)
Théo Cholbi (Sam)
Gabin Verdet (Simon)
Galatéa Bellugi (Juliette)
Dominique Blanc (Lucie Moret)


London 2016; Rotterdam
San Francisco 2017

One family’s tragedy offers the hope of renewed life for another in this exquisitely modulated drama pivoting on the delicate advocacy of a hospital’s organ transplant team. Eschewing melodrama and sentimentality, director Katell Quillévéré evokes the momentous forces at play for each of the key participants with emotional clarity and weighs the transference of life in passages of sheer cinematic exaltation.

“What sounds like fodder for a routinely gripping episode of ER is complicated with rare depths of personal and sensual detail in French director Katell Quillévéré’s sublimely compassionate, heart-crushing third feature Heal the Living. More polished but no less authentically humane than her previous works Suzanne and Love Like Poison, this spidering ensemble piece – adapted from Maylis de Kerangal’s internationally acclaimed 2014 novel – boasts beautifully pitched performances from a handpicked cast that includes Tahar Rahim and Emmanuelle Seigner. But it’s Quillévéré’s soaring visual and sonic acumen (with an assist from composer Alexandre Desplat, here in matchless form) that suffuses a potentially familiar hospital weeper with true grace.

...Quillévéré’s filmmaking never presses its emotional buttons too hard, just as it never sweetens the pill with manufactured poignancy... [Tom] Harari’s perfectly poised camera, Thomas Marchand’s fluid editing and Desplat’s aforementioned score are tuned into the film’s feelings at every turn, as are Quillévéré’s frequently inventive soundtrack choices.”— Guy Lodge, Variety