The Eleventh Plague

A deadly plague is spreading amongst pregnant women, thus bringing the end of the world closer. Mass hysteria breaks out amongst the people and hospitals can no longer answer to all of the ever-growing demands for abortion - which are now sought after, at very high prices.
In the midst of this reign of neurosis, Ruben Starkman, a professional hit man, is hired for an execution which will get him the money that he needs to quickly get an abortion for his wife. But during the mission, Ruben is manipulated and ends up finding the source of the plague. At the head of it is an underground microcosm ruled by children, whose purity is equalled only by their cruelty and nothing can deter their intention from bringing on the Apocalypse. That is how they trap Ruben with an ultimatum: if he wants to save his wife and child, he will have to become one of the faithful servants of The Eleventh Plague.

  • David Barrouk
  • David Barrouk
  • Julie Grelley
  • David Barrouk
  • David Barrouk
    Key Cast
    "Ruben Starckman"
  • Philippe Nahon
    Key Cast
    "Gaby "
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    La Onzième Plaie
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    34 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2000
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 16, DV Cam
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Canal+ (several screenings)
Director Biography - David Barrouk

Taking into account that the identity is a prison, David(s) Barrouk has decided to escape it by creating more than one for himself. That’s why he can be described as a multi-faceted creator, hyperactive and resoundingly Mannerist.

He has written, directed and produced many short and medium-length films in our beautiful country of France, one feature-film which has been sponsored by the legendary directors Nicholas Roeg and Ken Russell in the dirty country of England, a short series on the strange means of communication that is Internet, as well as many music videos (Syd Matters, Kill For Total Peace, Poni Hoax, etc.). His films have won many more or less well-earned prizes from many international film festivals, all of them more or less famous (Prize Canal +, Fnac Prize at Cannes, Digital Festival of Vierzon, etc.), and they have been largely broadcast on many French and international channels and platforms (France 2, Canal +, Arte, TPS, Netflix, Vice, etc.).

He has written and co-written many films on spec, as well as requests for documentaries, short and feature-films (for Flair Productions and Maja Films, Bikini Films, Realitism, Numero 6 and Partizan Midi Minuit, Obedience Films, Mac Films, etc.), certain of which have been broadcast on many different channels (Arte, Canal +, TPS, France 2).

Apart from his career as a screenwriter, director and producer, David is the founder and director of the Method Acting Center, a school which is reputed for its masterclasses for actors, screenwriters and directors, all based on the famous methods of Stanislavski, the Actors Studio and Robert McKee. He’s also participated in many films as an acting coach and/or a script doctor (La Petite Reine, Partizan Midi Minuit, Bac Films, etc.). He’s the author of Stan or The Acting Partition, a book which combines education, autobiography and fiction in a whirlwind of mises en abymes.

At the moment, he’s in the midst of creating an anthology series titled Collyrium. His latest film, Saddam Hussein, is being shown in many festivals, and Le Blanc-Seing, a short film which he co-produced and co-wrote is in post-production.

His first novel, An Open Letter to a Closed Woman, which has just as much of the acid taste of pop culture as of the theatricality of dark Romanticism, will be published this year.

David lives in Paris. He has a child whom he doesn’t know, from an enchanting woman who refuses to speak to him.

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Director Statement

If children knew what kind of society they were going to be born into, would they choose to come into the world? The Eleventh Plague was created to explore that fantastical question.

That is why a fantasy-themed film seemed like the obvious choice. This genre, of course, brings us back to a certain magic of cinema. But most importantly, it allowed us, through the supernatural, to explore fundamental and/or even biblical themes, all in a dreamlike way. In fact, isn’t the bible, in a certain way, a literary fantasy masterpiece? Sublimely combining incredible “special effects” - the sea parting, an invasion of frogs, a resurrection - and metaphysical theory?

So, in a very symbolic setting, we decided to explore the points of view of children - who have not only been given, for the first time, the position of judgement, but who also have supernatural powers. What kinds of punishments would they sentence us, according to the sick world that we leave them to? Would their purity, as well as their radicality, become our worst enemies? That theory is at the very heart of the story of The Eleventh Plague, which one could call a dark fairytale.