Private Project


Pierre and Lydie dream of having a happy and peaceful life together. But the secluded community in which they live has other plans for them. When Pierre wakes up one day tied to a St. Andrew's Cross in front of his family, Lydie, and the rest of the community, the "Man in Black" -who represents the High Authority - will offer him a one-way ticket to Hell.

  • Michael Berthet
  • Michael Berthet
  • Christophe Diez
  • Michael Berthet
  • Quentin Santarelli
    Key Cast
    Plus Belle la vie
  • Alain Dion
    Key Cast
    Falco, R.I.S.
  • Jérôme Berthoud
    Key Cast
    Les Visiteurs
  • Claudie Caro
    Key Cast
  • Julia Gratens
    Key Cast
  • Michael Berthet
    Key Cast
  • Clémence Plaquet
    Director of Photography
  • Gil de Murger
    Stunt coordinator
    Le Pacte des Loups, Le boulet, Scorpion, Eastern Boys
  • Leo Leroyer
    Special Effects
  • Quentin Bourgeois
  • Laurène Gardeux-Zanotti
    Special Effect Makeup
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Horror, Drama
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    18,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, French, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Michael Berthet

I have always been fascinated by the artistic world to entertain people.
First I was amazed by the magic of the circus when my parents took me there every year at Royan (Western Coast of France).
Then I discovered Theatre. Trained by Jean Haas and then at the Conservatoire de Longjumeau, I immediately felt very comfortable on stage. This led me to be part of the play "Dieu-aboie-t-il?" by François Boyer at the Avignon Festival in 2012 and the Tragos Festival in 2013.
Alongside Theater, I could "make my cinema classes" as a "visitor" on various film sets, and participating in many short films and TV programmes as an actor, but also as an editor. Editing is my other activity, whether for documentary or fiction.
Self-taught, my leitmotiv is the artistic creation, and that is precisely what my three activities as an actor, an editor and now a director allows me. I utilised these three functions on my film "Miseries - Enfer(s)."

To contact director Michaël Berthet, email him at

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Director Statement

How many French genre films are out in theatres every year? You will easily count them quickly... And yet there is a real demand for this kind of film by the public.
And I’m part of them!
Although in France it is very difficult to find funding to make this type of film, I accepted the challenge! As a great fan of horror films, I decided to react to this frightening result! Yes I love to be frightened by a film and take it on the chin! This is why I wanted my first film as a director to be a genre film. This project has taken shape for more than two years in my head before finally being written down.
The film describes a macabre ideological society that is totalitarian and authoritarian - but probably fair, while representing a sad reflection of our worst fantasies, deviant and sadistic machinations. How far are we willing to go to defend our values and our beliefs? By the way, how do we form our own values and beliefs? Is it always compatible with the notion of Justice?
No pinch of salt here nor compromise, the film is direct and brutal. It begins with a [falsely] idyllic and joyful scene; don’t the protagonists display their happiness too much to be convincing? Besides is their happiness dictated or are they really happy? No time to answer right away... The main scene of the short film is a scene of physical and psychological torture, but the aim is not to terrify the audience with endlessly gore effects to give them nausea; NO. This has already been done and it's not what I wanted through this project.
By creating this film, I wanted to involve the audience, terrify them, oppress them, and moreover make them think about what they psychologically "endure" while watching the film. I included different subjectivity axes within the same sequence for the viewer to feel each protagonist’s feelings, which places them at the heart of the film; from simple "voyeur", they will become in some way "actors" of the plot.
The films that terrified me as a viewer and which I use as a reference in the genre are "The Nameless" (Jaume Balaguero), "Funny Games" (Michael Haneke) and "Martyrs" (Pascal Laugier).
As this is what I felt while watching these films, my goal as a director is to make the audience live an intense cinematic experience. Clémence Plaquet, my cinematographer, helped me creating an oppressive atmosphere by using a raw and high-contrasted lighting. This atmosphere is reinforced by an omnipresent sound design by Quentin Bourgeois, which gives even more strength to images and emotions.
Finally, the great attention given to the scenery and special effects will immerse you completely in the characters’ miseries... are you ready to meet them?