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Pacey, S. (2017). After Love (L'Economie du Couple), directed and co-written by Joachim Lafosse, produced by Arlette Zylberberg, Philippe Logie, and Antonio Lombardo, 2016.. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 7(1):137-139.

(2017). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 7(1):137-139

Arts Reviews

After Love (L'Economie du Couple), directed and co-written by Joachim Lafosse, produced by Arlette Zylberberg, Philippe Logie, and Antonio Lombardo, 2016.

Review by:
Reviewed by Susan Pacey, M.A.

This is a searingly powerful film about a contemporary couple who after fifteen years together decide to separate, but find it impossible to part. Instead they prolong their misery by co-existing under one roof, locked in combat, making little effort to contain their hatred and resentment. Perhaps long ago, the viewer imagines, their obvious differences of culture, class, economic status, and gender were intriguing and exciting. Now these aspects of otherness are denigrated and despised.

It becomes clear that Marie (Bérénice Bejo) wants and expects Boris (Cédric Kahn) to leave her and their two daughters and vacate their family home. She is the reliable breadwinner; it is thanks to her savings (and a generous donation from her wealthy mother) that they were able to buy the property in the first place; it is Marie who maintains the mortgage repayments and underwrites their lives. She attempts to shut Boris out by meticulously dividing up and controlling everything: the time he can or cannot be at home, the food in the fridge—he is allowed to eat only what is on his shelf—and the tasks involved in parenting their young twin daughters (Jade and Margaux Soentgens). Ostensibly, the partners are “stuck” over how to divvy up the capital value of their home, which Boris, a Polish builder and aspirant “architect”, transformed into a desirable garden flat. His price for leaving is 50%; she insists that 30% is a fair deal: stalemate.

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