Je tu il elle

I, You, He, She

Belgium-France, 1974 / 35mm / Color / 86 min
Chantal Akerman, Niels Arestrup, Claire Wauthion


Je tu il elle

Belgium-France, 1974 / 35mm / Color / 86 min

Cast: Chantal Akerman, Niels Arestrup, Claire Wauthion

Production: Paradise Films

Sound: Alain Pierre, Samy Szlingerbaum

Editing: Luc Freché

Photography: Bénédicte Delesalle

At the time of shooting, Chantal Akerman was 24 and the film is a wonderfully blatant work of autobiography. The progress of this film’s narrative is clearly heralded by its title.


A young girl leaves her town after a difficult love affair and takes refuge in a room in another town. Later she leaves this room, stops a truck on the side of the highway and spends most of the night with the truck driver, a man who could have been a friend.

At the end of the road, she finds, probably for a short time, the girl she really loves.

JE TU IL ELLE tells the story of the last three moments of a young girl’s adolescence, painfully approaching adulthood, and who will have to give up something of herself to conform to it.

The “I” is a young woman, a willing prisoner in a bedroom. The presence of time dramatizes this enclosure in relation to solitude and solitude’s impossibility. The “you” is the writing, of letters and texts. The “he” is a lorry-driver who talks of his relationship to women. Finally, “she”, a girlfriend who at first refuses to take back the recluse and at last invites her into bed.

CLIP Je, tu, il, elle (Chantal Akerman - 1974)