Index Screening schedule

Sentimental Destinies

Olivier Assayas
Les destinées sentimentales
France 2000 / 180’
subtitles: Polish and English
Late August, Early September Demonlover

In terms of its place in Assayas’s oeuvre, this monumental, three-hour work, based on a novel by Jacques Chardonne, is both exceptional and completely familiar. After all, it deals with the same subjects that the French director has devoted most his films to, such as coming of age, betrayal and fidelity. In this case, it’s not just about betrayal in a relationship that leads to the breakup of Jean and Nathalie’s marriage but also about commitments to the past and loyalty to tradition—the crucial moment when the son must decide whether or not to follow in his father’s footsteps. Although played out over three turbulent decades—the film begins in 1900—its significance is entirely contemporary. In the fates of porcelain producers ravaged by World War I, we also see a special moment in the history of cinema, when 35 mm film began being replaced by digital technology. From this perspective, Sentimental Destinies, in which entire sequences demonstrating the manual process of creating delicate porcelain, appear to be a manifestation of fidelity to a passing medium, a tribute to the fathers of film and a poem in honor of the unique light that only celluloid is capable of capturing. 

Małgorzata Sadowska


Cinemania Film Festival 2000 - Audience Award; Muscat Film Festival 2003 - Best Director; San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2002 - Special Award (Isabelle Huppert)


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Olivier Assayas

Born in Paris in 1955, Olivier Assayas is the son of screenwriter Jacques Rémy (whose real name was Raymond Assayas). It was at his father’s side that Olivier took his first steps in the industry while still a teenager. He began making his first short amateur films a little while later. At the same time, he launched his career as a film critic, writing for the famous Cahiers du cinéma. He made his full-length debut with Disorder in 1986. Since then, he has made a number of films that have ensured him a position as one of the most important directors in European cinema. His most acclaimed works include Irma Vep, Something in the Air (an award winner for best screenplay at the Venice Festival) and Clouds of Sils Maria.

Selected filmography

1986 Bezład / Désordre / Disorder

1989 Zimowe dziecko / L’enfant de l’hiver / Winter’s Child

1991 Paryż się budzi / Paris s’éveille / Paris Awakens

1993 Nowe życie / Une nouvelle vie / A New Life

1994 Zimna woda / L’eau froide / Cold Water

1996 Irma Vep

1998 Koniec sierpnia, początek września / Fin août, début septembre / Late August, Early September

2000 Ścieżki uczuć / Les destinées sentimentales / Sentimental Destinies

2002 Demonlover

2004 Czysta / Clean

2007 Przejście / Boarding Gate

2008 Pewnego lata / L’heure d’été / Summer Hours

2010 Carlos (TV series)

2012 Po maju / Après mai / Something in the Air

2014 Sils Maria / Clouds of Sils Maria 

2016 Personal Shopper

2018 Doubles vies / Non-Fiction

Cast & Crew

director Olivier Assayas
screenplay Olivier Assayas, Jacques Fieschi
cinematography Eric Gautier
editing Luc Barnier
music Guillaume Lekeu
cast Emmanuelle Béart, Charles Berling, Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Perrier, Julie Depardieu, Dominique Reymond
producer Jean-Yves Asselin, Bruno Pesery, Jean-Louis Porchet, Gérard Ruey
production Arcade, Arena Films, CAB Productions
sales Arena Films
language French
colouration colour