The Thorn In The Heart Review

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Michel Gondry's doc chronicles the life of his family matriarch, formidable aunt Suzette Gondry, and her relationship with her son, Jean-Yves.


As Philip Larkin once noted: they fuck you up, your mum and dad. This quiet yet enthralling meditation on family life and the role played by matriarch Suzette Gondry gives credence to the poet’s musings. Retracing Suzette’s life as a young teacher zigzagging her way across France, Michel Gondry’s unobtrusive camera captures the beating heart of his family in this unsettling yet engrossing documentary. The gap between Suzette and her son Jean-Yves becomes wider, the death of his father/her husband acting as a catalyst for their mutual mistrust. Their estrangement leaves the family, like so many others, disturbed; their troubles rumbling quietly below an impassive-looking surface.

A touching insight into a family's inner workings.