This moody, contemplative drama explores the unusual and unusually intimate relationship between an aunt and her nephew. Nadia, a single mathematician in her 40s, is struggling with alcoholism. Pierre, her 17-year-old nephew, is coming to terms with his sexuality. First-time filmmaker Patric Chiha, however, doesn’t package things so neatly. Instead, he reveals this story patiently and with suspenseful restraint allowing room for silence, facial expressions and body language to do their work. Indeed, the pair’s precise relationship unfolds with provocative ambiguity. Nadia’s alluring mystique, however, remains unmistakable. She’s worldly, educated, wild and mischievous; and she dazzles Pierre with captivating stories from her past on their daily walks through the park. They seem to be happy only when together, and their closeness borders on the inappropriate but doesn’t actually cross into the taboo. It is strange, nonetheless. Pierre picks out her dresses, tucks her in at night and sometimes even washes her legs. He ditches his friends for her. Nadia seems to need him too, but as her alcoholism gets worse, their closeness unravels. Béatrice Dalle’s Nadia is mesmerizing throughout. She’s unpredictable and mysterious but also somehow comforting. Domain is in some ways a coming-of-age story and in others a love story, but Chiha doesn’t play either straight. The result is something much more complicated and remarkable. —Benjamin Friedland
Patric Chiha was born in Vienna, Austria in 1975. He moved to Paris at the age of 18 to study fashion design at Duperré Art School. He then studied film editing at INSAS Film School in Brussels. His short and medium-length films and documentaries including Home, Où se trouve le chef de la prison? and Les messieurs have been selected in a variety of film festivals. In 2009 he directed his first feature film, Domaine, starring Béatrice Dalle and Isaïe Sultan, which premiered in Venice.
"Words are disorder". A phenomenally well made movie. It's quiet but never restraint. It captures the esoteric nature of friendship, attractiveness, and Identity. I want to walk with Nadia. Just thirty minutes everyday. Its those simple actions that count.
To be honest, I queued this movie up because the trailer made it look like it was going to very edgy and transgressive in that French way. In reality, "Domaine" is a rather chaste and gentle film, but no less compelling to watch. Beatrice Dalle is luminous and perfectly captures the quiet desperation of someone whose life is being slowly destroyed by alcoholism. The ending hits with the force of a blunt object.
Anyone know the song that is playing in the club? (I don't think it's Milkymee, who did the rest of the soundtrack.)
Deranged Beatrice, you're everything Angelina Jolie will never be. Dalle plays the the same crazy wicked character who goes after pregnant women with sharp knifes elsewhere. Mathematics as the language of life. Think Pi, but with more decadent overtones. Chaos prevails. It always does. Best dance scene of the last five years. Indispensable.
Chiha’s 2009 debut features “an early contender for scene of the year.”
"Let it not be said that this session of Film Comment Selects lacks a consistency of vision," writes Nick Pinkerton in the Voice, previewing