22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
Simple comme Sylvan (The Nature of Love)

The Nature of Love (Simple comme Sylvain)

Monia Chokri

After ten years together, the life of academic couple Xavier and Sophia already follows familiar paths. However, this doesn’t make their interactions any less complicated, and even small things occasionally disturb their relationship dynamic. When Sophia encounters the charming handyman Sylvain during the renovation of her country house, everything suddenly seems so simple to her – Simple comme Sylvain (simple like Sylvain). As the main topic is always the theory of love in her philosophy lectures as well as at home with Xavier, Sylvain appears to bring completely new aspects of herself to light with his physical uncomplicatedness. The love that emerges expresses itself almost wordlessly and instead through sensitive body language. But does this instinctive love suffice to overcome the social and intellectual differences between them?

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Monia Chokri
Country Canada, France
Year 2023
Duration 112 min
Language French, English with English subtitles
Production Sylvain Corbeil, Nancy Grant, Elisha Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz
Co-production Jules de Chateleux, Benoit Ponsaillé
Cast Magalie Lépine Blondeau, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Francis-William Rhéaume
Camera André Turpin
Script Monia Chokri
Editing Pauline Gaillard
Sound François Grenon, Olivier Guillaume, Thomas Pichon, Julien Roig, Simon Poupard, Natalie Fleurant, Frédéric Livernois, Thibault Noirot, Jonas Orantin, Maxime Vermette
Music Emile Sornin
Sound Design François Grenon, Julien Roig

César Awards: Best Foreign Film, Cannes Film Festival 2023

Presented by:

About the director

Monia Chokri is a Canadian actress and director from Quebec. She became known for her appearances in films by directors like Denys Arcand or Xavier Dolan. Her directorial debut with the short film Quelqu'un d'extraordinaire managed to win awards at several film festivals. Her latest film (Simple comme Sylvain) directed by and starring her, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section in 2023.

Press reviews

„The desire between Sophia and Sylvain is initially portrayed as passion, then as erotic closeness. The editing emphasises the intensity of the initial infatuation by presenting it at a rapid pace. The first part of the film exudes an explosive and contagious energy, further heightened by the cast’s generous, loving and moving performances.“ (Kevin Pereira, Cineman)

„Employing regular Dolan cinematographer André Turpin, the pair work with almost horror parameters that we might find in giallo – the camera zooms in and out of shots, pans over to the other piece of the atom – the notion of couple hood gets an aesthetic treatment that reminds us we are two peas in a pod, but that we are split versions of ourselves. It’s a rather alluring choice.” (Eric Lavallée, Ioncinema)

The director about the film

„Movies can trigger different reactions. After screenings of Simple comme Sylvain some people have told me that they now want an affair or want to fall in love again. [...] But this isn’t because my film is special; love stories in general have tremendous power. They touch us at our core. They make us reflect on our own situation. What I would find exiting is if a couple watches the film and then one of them has an affair. The thought of it makes me laugh.“ Monia Chokri in an Interview with Outnow


International Feature Film Program