‘The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq - Guillaume Nicloux’

9 Jan.'15
- 00:00


In the presence of Guillaume Nicloux

In September 2011, while supposedly on the promotional tour for his novel ‘The Map and the Territory’, writer Michel Houellebecq briefly disappeared from the face of the earth. Wild rumours that he’d been abducted by Al-Qaeda or aliens from outer space began circulating on the Internet. Some Twitter users even expressed relief that the controversial author was suddenly no longer around. This film now reveals what really happened. Three tough guys variously with impressive hairstyles and bodybuilder physiques carried off the star intellectual (Houellebecq playing himself), taking him out of the daily stress of dodging autograph hunters and having his flat renovated - whatever happens, no Scandinavian design! - and bringing him to a beautiful rural underdog idyll, full of dog grooming, bodybuilding demonstrations, junk cars and Polish sausages. But who was to pay the ransom? François Hollande, maybe? It’s Michel’s birthday and the celebration included copious quantities of alcohol and a surprise named ‘Fatima’. And the kidnappers finally put on masks for the occasion. The chain-smoking Houellebecq can relax: as he and every crime fiction fan knows, it’s only unmasked kidnappers who spell trouble.

Guillaume Nicloux (1966) is a writer, filmmaker and actor. Ever since his first film he worked with renowned actors including Anémone in Les Enfants Volants (The Flying Children, 1990) and Michel Piccoli and Arielle Dombasle in the television drama La Vie crevée (Punctured Life, 1992). Strongly attracted to particular environments, detective films and the work of Jean-Pierre Melville, he makes Le Poulpe (The Octopus) in 1998. Four years later, he offers Thierry Lhermitte an a-typical role in Une Affaire privée (A Private Affair), a film noir which received critical acclaim. Nicloux likes working with the same actors, so in 2010 he works again with Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Josiane Balasko in the acid satire Holiday, also featuring Judith Godrèche. After making a brief digression to television in 2012 he turns back to the cinema in 2013 with La Religieuse (The Nun), adapted from the novel by Denis Diderot, in which young Pauline Etienne features as the girl who is forced to enter a convent.

Forum - Berlinale 2014
Prix du Meilleur Scenario / Beste scenario - Tribeca Film Festival 2014
Nomination au Meilleur Film / Nominatie beste film - Sydney Film Festival 2014
Guillaume Nicloux


Michel Houellebecq


Guillaume Nicloux
Guillaume Nicloux
Guillaume Nicloux

Practical information


  • Subtitles: Dutch