Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive 2009

Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante

Directed by Claude Miller, Nathan Miller

This compelling, superbly acted psychological drama of a rebellious teenage boy’s obsessive pursuit of his birth mother is based on a true story. “A fascinating drama… tremendously effective.” — Screendaily

France In French with English subtitles
90 minutes


Jean-Louis Livi


Claude Miller
Nathan Miller. Based on a script by Alain Le Henry


Aurélien Devaux


Morgane Spacagna

Production designer

Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko

Costume designer

Elsa Gies


Vincent Segal


Vincent Rottiers (Thomas Jouvet, 20 years)
Sophie Cattani (Julie Martino)
Christine Citti (Annie Jouvet)
Yves Verhoeven (Yves Jouvet)
Maxime Renard (Thomas, 12 years)
Olivier Guéritée (Patrick/François, 17 years)
Ludo Harlay (Patrick/François, 9 years)
Gabin Lefébure (Tommy, 4 years)
Quentin Gonzalez (Frédéric)


Venice 2009


This compelling drama of a boy’s obsessive pursuit of his birth mother is based on a true story. Like many adolescents, rebellious Thomas Jouvet wants to disown his parents. This desire is that much easier to realise because Thomas is adopted. When he manages to track down his birth mother, he resolves to run away from his old life and move in with her. But even if Julie has matured in the intervening years, is he wise to invest so much hope in a woman who’s already abandoned him once? Veteran filmmaker Claude Miller, in collaboration with his son Nathan, applies his tailored classicism to much darker and more unruly material than usual, with powerful results. The film, predicated on two excellent lead performances by Sophie Cattani and Vincent Rottiers as alienated mother and son, records the heat of Thomas’ passion with an eerie coolness. As events in his life spin out of control, the tension and precision of the filmmaking only increases. — AL

“[The] lead performances so strong and nuanced they'll haunt you."” — David Larsen, NZ Listener