Sauvage 18

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 7 March 2019

Leo is a 22-year-old sex worker who yearns for affection, snatching moments of fleeting intimacy in the arms of his clients. In poor health and with no fixed address, Leo’s life revolves around the community of sex workers who ply their trade on the same patch as him, and he soon falls for fellow hustler, Ahd. But when his romantic feelings are violently rebuffed, Leo finds himself slipping further away from society.

Félix Maritaud (120 BPM) gives an extraordinary performance as Leo, imbuing the character with both a tragic vulnerability and a disarming romantic optimism and resilience.

With echoes of Agnès Varda’s 1985 masterpiece Vagabond (a film about a female drifter living on the edges of society) Sauvage is a beautiful, raw and mesmerising film that, while bracingly sexually explicit at times, is a deeply sensitive and compassionate character study that deserves to be as widely seen as possible. It’s a truly unforgettable film that will linger in the mind long after viewing.


Camille Vidal-Nacquet
1 hour 40 minutes
Eric Bernard, Felix Maritaud, Nicolas Dibla


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