No Fear, No Die (1990)

Claire Denis’ second fiction feature grew out of her desire to explore ideas inspired by Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth: “a special type of neurosis – colonized people feeling psychologically defeated even though they are physically free to determine their future.”

Set on the outskirts of Paris, No Fear, No Die focuses on Dah (Isaach De Bankolé) and Jocelyn (Alex Descas), immigrants from the former French colonies who train fighting cocks for illegal bouts at a seedy truck-stop restaurant run by crooked businessman Ardennes (Jean-Claude Brialy). Ceaselessly taunted by his white boss, the introverted Jocelyn slips ever deeper into depression parallel to his growing desire for Ardennes’ beautiful girlfriend (Solveig Dommartin, the angelic trapeze artist of Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire).

Once again attesting to Denis’ visual mastery – particularly in the brutal cockfight sequences, which brilliantly express the repressed pain and alienation of both men – No Fear, No Die is “an intelligently constructed, richly textured, and provocative exploration of human behaviour, sexual attraction, and violence” (Acquarello, Strictly Film School).

The film will be screened on a 35mm filmprint.

  • Orig. title: S'en fout la mort
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Distribution: Institut français
  • Print source: Institut français
  • Cinematography: Pascal Marti
  • Editing: Dominique Auvray
  • Music: Abdullah Ibrahim
  • Sound: Alix Comte, Jean-Paul Mugel
  • Production design: Jean-Jacques Caziot