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vie de Jean-Marie, La

Peter van Houten / NL, 2015 / 166 min.

Jean-Marie is the name of a chatty priest who ministers to some 25 villages in the Pyrenees. Dutch filmmaker Peter van Houten closely followed the priest and managed to capture him in all his endearing ways. For this documentary portrait – winner of an audience award at the last IFFR – Van Houten developed a unique form of  slow cinema. The film is touring the country and is currently screened in EYE.

Poster 56

Jean-Marie is now in his seventies but still full of beans; his strong commitment to his parishioners – and his eye for feminine beauty – is refreshingly catching.

Van Houten has been able to focus on the disarming honesty of the garrulous pastor in a very special way: for six years on end he followed nearly every move of Jean-Marie, documenting also his philosophy of life. The result is a documentary portrait that can be defined as a unique type of slow cinema, with Jean-Marie”s lengthy declaration of love for the woman who lives next door to him as the absolute highlight of the film.

La vie de Jean-Marie was one of the audience favourites at this year”s International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film”s success in Rotterdam encouraged Van Houten – the documentary”s director, cameraman, screenwriter, editor and producer – to present the film in Dutch theatres. Van Houten will attend the screening of his documentary in EYE.

Ronald Rovers (Filmkrant Live) will preside over the Q&A session afterwards.



Peter van Houten

Production year




Original title

vie de Jean-Marie, La


166 min.




DCP non-encrypted

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