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Audiences fall for arresting whodunit

Thought-provoking murder mystery tackles societal preconceptions about marriage and traditional gender roles, Xu Fan reports.

By Xu Fan | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-04-01 07:32
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A scene from Anatomy of a Fall shows the protagonist, a German novelist suspected of killing her husband, with her lawyer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Despite having just disembarked from an 11-hour flight on a rainy March night, French director Justine Triet proceeded directly to the Peking University Centennial Memorial Hall.

Upon appearing on the stage, she was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the audience, who had just watched her acclaimed directorial effort, Anatomy of a Fall.

The film, which opened across Chinese mainland theaters on Friday, has won 280 awards and nominations worldwide, with the highest accolades being the Palme d'Or for best film at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, and the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay at the 96th Academy Awards.

Co-written by Triet and her partner, Arthur Harari, this suspense-filled movie delves into the life of Sandra, a German novelist residing with her husband, Samuel, a French teacher and writer, and their 11-year-old son, Daniel, in their isolated chalet in the French Alps.

One day, a graduate student arrives to interview Sandra, but the session is quickly terminated when Samuel, who seems jealous and unhappy about the interview, starts playing excessively loud music. A short time later, as their young son returns home after walking his dog, he discovers his father lying lifeless and covered in blood on the snowy ground outside the house.

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