April 20, 2024

‘Everything went fine’: a new French film about assisted suicide

The ethical issues have become passé

Another film promoting assisted suicide, this time from France: Tout S'Est Bien Passé (Everything Went Fine). It’s an art-house flic, beautifully acted, with snappy dialogue and on Rotten Tomatoes, it scores 92% with the critics.

Rather than debating the ethics of assisted suicide, it treats a request to die as the framework for a family drama. An elderly man with a muirky past, estranged from his wife, has a disabling stroke. He asks one of his two daughters to help him die. This rattles her, but eventually she agrees to take him to a suicide clinic in Switzerland. It is directed by François Ozon and based upon a novel by Emmanuèle Bernheim.

A review in Variety sums up the film:

The Swiss clinic where André wishes to end it all will charge €10,000 for the privilege, and the money, at least, is not among this brood’s various issues. “I wonder how poor people do it,” André muses. “They wait to die,” his daughter lightly snaps. It’s an exchange typical of Ozon’s smart, measured but still deeply human take on a hot subject. You can’t put a price on life, they say. Death, not so much.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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