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StrictEternum — Didier Fontan, 2005

A man and woman live in a strange, surreal house enveloped with snow. Their relationship is emotionally strained - they are bored with each other and with their lives. Neither is satisfied with life or its routines. However, their situation is not what it first appears to be…

Modern Languages teachers will find a bespoke set of lesson ideas for this film here.

Classroom Activities

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  • Watch the first 1 minute 15 seconds. How does the man’s response to the woman establish their relationship? In what ways does the man and the garden gnome appear to have similar personalities?
  • Watch from 01:15 to 01:40 minutes. What is the contrast between the hallway and the interior of the living room? In what ways do the colours used in these different settings suggest the relationship between the couple is tense to the viewer? Is there a scheme or pattern that is apparent in these different settings? In what ways does the man’s clothing contrast with and/or compliment the colours chosen in these settings?
  • Watch from 01:40 to 03:20 minutes. What does the repeated focus on dolls of a young girl seem to represent? What do the dolls suggest about the man and woman’s relationship? In your opinion, why is the doll contained inside of a series of boxes decreasing in size?
  • Watch from 03:20 to 05:22 minutes. What is the effect of the mirrors in communicating the woman’s feelings that their life is a basic routine? The man and woman blame each other’s memory of why they came to live in this house, waiting for the snow and trying to fix the car but want to try “one more time” - what does this suggest about their relationship? What camera shots can be identified that would explain your answer?
  • Watch from 05:22 to 06:22 minutes. Explain how the camera technique reveals the couple’s actual reality. Explain why this camera technique makes sense of the strange settings and the couple’s relationship and helps the viewer understand the story.
  • Watch from 06:22 until title sequence. Explain in what ways the viewer may feel uneasy. In your opinion, why is the word ‘INFINI’ painted on the boat in reverse?


  • To what extent, in your opinion, do the relationships between the men and women in this short film represent real life?
  • In each of the two relationships in this short film the men are outdoor fixing things (car and boat) and the women stay inside their houses: in your opinion, is this now an outdated view in society?
  • The characters feel trapped and bored with the basic routines in their life. Discuss in pairs and give feedback on why some routines are important and why breaking from routines is good for people’s health and wellbeing.



  • Write a short story with the title ‘Dead End’.


  • Design and draw your own snow globe.


  • If the garden gnome and the doll of the young girl could have a conversation about their roles in this short film, what would they say to each other?


  • Snow is a climactic feature that contributes to characters feelings of being ‘trapped’ in this short film. How might scientific warnings of climate change create similar feelings in our world?


  • From studies in History and Modern Studies, how has the traditional role of women changed in our society?


  • How are snow globes made and what is the history of snow globes? Make notes and prepare a brief report or PowerPoint presentation to share with the class.

Clip Details

Year of Production 2005
Genre Drama
Curriculum Areas Modern Languages, Literacy and English
Director Didier Fontan
Country of Origin France, Norway
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound, Subtitles
Themes Relationships, Danger / Fear, Culture / Society, Food / Environment, Intolerance / Misconceptions
Clip Length 07:52
Clip Length 07:52
Age Group P5-P7, S1-S3, S4-S6