Both Sides of the Blade title image
, , , ,
116 min.
Release Date
Both Sides of the Blade poster

Note: This review was originally published for the 2022 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. IFC Fllms will release the film theatrically later this year.

Claire Denis has a new film, and depending on where you live, its name varies. In France, where Denis shot the film under strict pandemic protocols, it goes by Avec amour et acharnement, which roughly translates to With Love and Determination. In the US, the distributors at IFC Films were poised to use the title Fire, while in other English-speaking territories, it’s known as Both Sides of the Blade. I saw the film at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, and the festival’s literature called Denis’ latest Both Sides of the Blade, but confusingly, Avec amour et acharnement appeared onscreen with the translated subtitle Fire underneath. At the same time, the IFC Films website lists the title as Both Sides of the Blade as of this writing. Given the various handles, and the fact that another Denis film, The Stars at Noon, will debut at the Cannes Film Festival this year, one could be forgiven for thinking Denis has four new films hitting international theaters this year. Personally, I prefer Both Sides of the Blade as a title, for reasons I will explain in this review. 

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