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The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

June 12, 2015 - June 27, 2015


June 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 Scroll down for Times and locations


Michel Houellebecq, possibly the most widely read living French writer, was believed kidnapped on September 16, 2011. But was he really? After a flurry of media reports of his abduction, the story goes cold and Houellebecq, famously reclusive, refuses to set the record straight. Now he goes one step further by starring as himself in a film that purports to tell the tale.  With a nod to O. Henry’s short story, The Ransom of Red Chief, the film explores the dramatic territory where the personae of criminal and victim are remade in unexpected and surprisingly amusing ways. (France; 96 min)

Coincidentally, a caricature of Michel Houellebecq was on the cover of the magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7, the day that two jihadists entered its Paris offices and killed 12 people.

“A divertingly eccentric, often comically absurd movie about a novelist … who finds something like happiness after being abducted.”

– Manohla Dargis, NEW YORK TIMES


“A French intellectual’s equivalent of Michael Winterbottom’s TRIP movies, by way of Michael Bay’s PAIN & GAIN.”

– Scott Foundas, VARIETY


“The Houellebecq we see on screen is obviously rooted as much in fiction as in fact, yet what makes his performance so fascinating is the mischievous glee he takes in sending up his own persona.”

– Melissa Anderson, VILLAGE VOICE


“An inspired comic thriller…will reward curious viewers with its understated humor and unexpected warmth.”



“This quietly uproarious drama delivers substantial artistic whimsy with a poker face.” 

– Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER






Fri, June 26

La Sapienza 7:00 @ IU Fine Arts

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq  7:45 @ IU Woodburn

The Wolfpack 8:50 @ IU Fine Arts


Sat, June 27

La Sapienza 7:00 @ IU Fine Arts

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq  7:45 @ IU Woodburn

The Wolfpack 8:50 @ IU Fine Arts


Sun, June 28

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq  5:30 @ Bear’s Place

La Sapienza 7:45 @ Bear’s Place


Fri, July 3

La Sapienza 7:00 @ IU Fine Arts

The Wolfpack  7:45 @ IU Woodburn


Sun, July 5

La Sapienza 5:30 @ Bear’s Place

The Wolfpack  7:45 @ Bear’s Place – Last Chance!




June 12, 2015
June 27, 2015
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