Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this downbeat drama from France, Benoit (Xavier Beauvois) is an upper class art student who is shocked to discover that he's been drafted into the Army. Eager to avoid military service, Benoit feigns illness, consults a psychiatrist for depression, and even tells the draft board he's gay, all to no avail. In a fit of desperation, Benoit attempts suicide, only to learn in the hospital that he has tested positive for HIV. Now that he has a real reason to be depressed, Benoit sinks into an emotional downturn and ends up in jail, where he is introduced to Omar (Roschdy Zem), who suggests that he can make big money fast by smuggling drugs. With nothing better to do, Benoit goes into business with Omar, and with his ill-gotten gains, he travels to Italy, where he meets a beautiful young woman named Claudia (Chiara Mastroianni). Benoit and Claudia quickly fall in love, but the lure of the drug market soon proves more powerful than Benoit's feelings for his girlfriend. Director and star Xavier Beauvois won the Jury Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival for his work on this film.
AIDS, drugs, fate, military, smuggling, student, suicide, terminal-illness