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The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq L'enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq

Guillaume Nicloux / France / 2014 / 92 min / French

A playful documentary thriller "exposes" the truth about the puzzling disappearance of enfant terrible of contemporary French literature, Michel Houellebecq, who plays himself with delicious self-irony.

In September 2011, while supposedly on the promotional tour for his novel The Map and the Territory, the notorious writer Michel Houellebecq briefly disappeared off the face of the earth. Wild rumours began circulating that he’d been abducted by Al-Qaeda or extraterrestrials. This film now reveals what really happened: Three tough guys with bodybuilder physiques carried off the star intellectual, taking him out of the daily stress and bringing him to a beautiful rural idyll. It’s Michel’s birthday, which is celebrated with copious tobacco for the chain-smoking Houellebecq and a surprise named ‘Fatima’. But the question remains: Who’s to pay the ransom?

»In fact it’s not Michel Houellebecq who interests me, but rather Michel Thomas [his real name]. It’s the human, not the writer. I’m not interested at all in the writer. What I wanted to show is the humanity of Michel – his weakness, his humour, his nastiness, all that speaks of the human, not the media figure.« (Guillaume Nicloux)

Guillaume Nicloux
Born in Melun, France in 1966, Nicloux worked as a director and actor in theatre. He made his first short film, L’orage, in 1987 and his feature debut, La piste aux étoiles, in 1988. He lectured for ten years at the Parisian film school La Fémis and currently also works as a writer.

filmography (selection)
1987 L’orage (short)
1988 La piste aux étoiles
1992 La vie crevée
1994 Faut pas rire du bonheur (Happiness Is No Joke)
1998 Le poulpe (The Octopus)
2001 Une affaire privée (A Private Affair)
2003 Cette femme-là (Hanging Offense)
2005 Le concile de pierre (The Stone Council)
2007 La clef (The Key)
2010 Holiday
2012 La Religieuse
2014 L‘enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq (The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq)

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