When teenage surfer Simon (Gabin Verdet) is mixed up in a car crash, his parents are hit with a double blow: though kept breathing by hospital machinery, their son is no longer alive. Not only this, but they must now decide what to do with his organs, and quickly.
What follows is a heart-wrenching narrative involving the myriad people – mainly strangers – who feel the ripples of this traumatic event. In real life, organ donor pairs are anonymous, but director Katell Quillévéré’s ensemble cast reveals all sides of this story with raw, unedited emotion.
Mixing dark romance with a documentary-style intimacy, Heal The Living captures the bittersweet brevity of our time on earth. Fate, as Quillévéré shows, can take life and give hope in one single swoop. Besides Simon’s parents Marianne (Emmanuelle Seigner) and Vincent (Kool Shen) and two teams of doctors, we also meet Claire (Anne Dorval), a mother with a weak heart who is wrestling with her “goodbyes.” Simon, we discover, might be a second chance for Claire and her two young sons.
This article appears in Issue 77 of Aesthetica Magazine. For more information or to pick up a copy: www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop.
1. Trailer for Heal the Living. Courtesy of Curzon Artificial Eye.