Description: Former video installation artist Philippe Grandieux made his feature directorial debut with this French psychological thriller that probes the mind of a serial killer. A hand-held camera follows murderer Jean (Marc Barbe) as he strangles French women while driving about France. When Claire (Elina Lowensohn) has a roadside car breakdown, she and her sister Christine (Geraldine Voillat) get a lift from the demented Jean, who later attacks Christine while she's at a lake for a swim. Back at the hotel, he menaces both sisters. Claire succeeds in extricating Christine, who leaves on a train for Paris -- while Claire makes the mistake of sticking around in order to help the crazed Jean. Shown in competition at the 1998 Locarno Film Festival where it provoked controversy and an official statement: Half of the jury would like to call attention to Sombre. Our jury split between those who were morally offended by the film and those who saw a purpose in its darkness, and in the strength of its mise-en-scene and images. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide
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