my schizophrenic brother



When their elderly father dies of a heart attack, Fabien, Estelle and Louise not only inherit the family home in Charente, but also Jacques, their sick brother. Suffering from schizophrenic disorders, the thirty-year-old has always lived there. He spends his days gardening and watching movies sitting on the sofa, sowing around him an incredible shambles of empty beer bottles, opened cakes and cigarette butts. What will become of him without the father who managed the stewardship and soothed the anxiety attacks?

Forced to sell the house, the siblings are shared. Everyone has their own life, in which the cumbersome brother does not necessarily have a place. The eldest, animated by a deep resentment towards the one who “rotten life”, wants to have him committed. His sisters would like to believe in the fickle projects of Jacques, who talks of settling in a tiny house then in a small house by the sea. Louise, the youngest, decides to take him under her wing, at the risk of destabilizing his love and professional life.

The screenplay for this TV movie is based on the personal experience of Pierre Chosson, whose sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 20, and his encounters with caregivers, within a support group of Unafam (National Union of families and friends of sick and/or mentally handicapped people). No doubt this is why everything rings true, from the situations to the dialogues, written with great economy of words. On this subtle canvas, riddled with ellipses, Marie Garel-Weiss delicately films the awkward relationship, sometimes tender, sometimes rough, which is woven between Louise and Jacques. Alongside the frail Maud Wyler, Vincent Deniard (Germinal, Red Wristbands) impresses in the skin of this colossus cluttered with his body, exhausted from fighting against the voices in his head. His touching performance was awarded an interpretation prize at the La Rochelle Fiction Festival in 2021.

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