The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

Directed by Guillaume Nicloux

Release Year: 2014
Running Time: 96
Color Type: Color
Country: France
Language: French with English subtitles
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Screening Info
Michel Houellebecq [Michel Houellebecq]

Directed by Guillaume Nicloux (Guillaume Nicloux)

Michel Houellebecq, possibly the most widely read living French writer, was believed kidnapped on September 16, 2011. But was he really? After a flurry of media reports of his abduction, the story goes cold and Houellebecq, famously reclusive, refuses to set the record straight. Now he goes one step further by starring as himself in a film that purports to tell the tale.

With a nod to O. Henry's short story, The Ransom of Red Chief, the film explores the dramatic territory where the personae of criminal and victim are remade in unexpected and surprisingly amusing ways. -Karen Cooper, Director, Film Forum

Educational Reviews

"What could easily have just been a vehicle for Houellebecq's dependably scandalizing pronouncements turns out to be something more interesting: a portrait of the highly complicated personality in which those pronouncements gestate. Instead of polished barbs about Islam or feminism, we get a sort of muttering, murmuring stream of lowkey but amusing charm, petulance, and passive aggression, as Houellebecq passes the time with his kidnappers in their tumbledown rural hideaway, waiting for someone to ransom him." James Lasdun, The New York Review of Books

"...a divertingly eccentric, often comically absurd movie about a novelist, also named Michel Houellebecq, who finds something like happiness after being abducted." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

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