"Incoherent and Abhorrent French Movie"

Quality: Content: -4 "ABHORRENT"


ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is a French drama about a man’s wife who suddenly returns to him 21 years after she disappeared without any explanation, which causes much disruption in his life and results in madness. ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is a messy, melodramatic attempt at profound filmmaking that’s dominated by a primarily Romantic worldview and an extremely high amount of questionable immoral content. ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is an unacceptable, abhorrent, incoherent work.


ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is a French drama about a man’s wife who suddenly reappears 21 years after she disappeared without any explanation, which causes much disruption in the lives of those she left behind.

After the disappearance of his wife, Carlotta, 21 years ago, Ismael spends his time by the sea still working on his movie script although it’s already started filming and being with his new lover, Sylvia. Carlotta was declared dead, but the mystery remains regarding where she went. Meanwhile, Ismael tries to convince her father that Carlotta didn’t leave because of their unhappy marriage.

One day, as Sylvia lays out on the beach, a phantom appears out of the blue and announces herself as Carlotta, Ismael’s long-lost wife. In disbelief, Sylvia brings her to Ismael, and he confronts the woman who broke his heart so long ago. Carlotta tells them she left and found comfort in the arms of another man. After he recently died, she no longer had anywhere to live and has now returned back to claim her former husband. As these events transpire, the main character in Ismael’s movie, a spy thriller, also seems to be encountering the same type of hardships, only in a different manner.

Since Carlotta has nowhere to stay and appears homeless, Sylvia offers to let her stay with them. However, after Carlotta openly admits she’s returned to take back her husband, Sylvia feels threatened in her relationship with Ismael and decides to leave him. Turning back to Carlotta for a lustful moment of pleasure, Ismael soon returns to his love for Sylvia and implores her to return to him.

As his movie crew films the script he wrote, Ismael enters into a state of almost pure insanity. He’s seemingly totally nonfunctional without Sylvia. Ismael appears unable to finish the movie. So, his producer comes to his house to try to convince him to return to work. The producer finds Ismael to be delusional and completely out of his mind. He tries to find Sylvia and return Ismael to his love and to his right mind.

ISMAEL’S GHOSTS premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2017 receiving very negative feedback from the audience. However, the director reportedly has inserted some more footage to flesh out his story. Despite his efforts, the movie is more like a series of different scenes messily strung together in an unorganized fashion than a cohesive movie. The melodramatic acting, which comes complete with twists and lots of screaming nonsense, is exhausting to watch and does nothing but pull the viewer out of the story’s reality.

ISMAEL’S GHOSTS has an overarching Romantic worldview where the characters follow no moral compass and answer only to the lustful desires of their hearts. There are brief mentions of the Bible in reference to a few stories in the Old Testament, as well as a humanist moment when Ismael yells to the sky telling God that he doesn’t hold Him in any esteem whatsoever. Containing full frontal female nudity, as well as an exuberant amount of other objectionable content such as foul language, sexual content and violence, ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is an unacceptable, abhorrent, incoherent work.


(RoRoRo, B, H, Ab, LLL, VVV, SSS, NNN, AA, DD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Romantic worldview throughout as the characters follow their heart and feelings above any moral values or beliefs, the main character commits adultery multiple times with little to no regret, remorse or consequence, the main character’s main concern is his movie script and everything in his life bows to his art, plus there are a few biblical references where man fears he’s becoming a Jacob as opposed to an Esau in Genesis and man also fears becoming like Joseph, and a humanist moment where main character yells up at the sky and tells God he’s not scared of Him and holds Him in no esteem;

Foul Language:
At least, 27 obscenities (including several “f” words);

High amount of violence and graphic content, mainly in the times when the movie flashes to Ismael’s movie, which is about a government agent and has a few graphic scenes including a man talking on a cell phone that explodes in his face which is pretty graphic, plus Ismael accidentally shoots his producer in the arm;

High amount of sexual content including three different sex scenes, two of them being very explicit, and many instances of fornication and adultery; with the main character cheating on both his ex-wife and his current lover;

High amount of nudity throughout this movie, including full female frontal nudity, upper and rear female nudity, a few examples of implied nudity, women shown in undergarments, and upper male nudity multiple times shown in sexual situations;

Alcohol Use:
Heavy amounts of alcohol usage as the characters drink quite often casually as well as a few examples of drunkenness, plus one character vomits from being so intoxicated;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Characters smoke cigarettes often, plus character takes drugs to sleep and hides drugs in his shoe; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Strong miscellaneous immorality includes lying and an overlying theme of revenge because all three main characters seek to right what has been wronged against them.

In Brief:

ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is a French drama about a filmmaker named Ismael, who revisits his past when his ex-wife returns after mysteriously disappearing with no explanation 21 years ago and being declared dead. Carlotta intrudes on Ismael’s new life writing and directing his new movie while being with his lover, Sylvia. Meanwhile, the character in Ismael’s movie deals with similar problems. Carlotta declares she intends to take back her husband to resume their life together. Naturally, Sylvia feels threatened. She decides to part with Ismael, leaving him in a state of utter despair and insanity.

ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is often exhausting to watch, encouraging viewers to wish for the end. The scenes are messily strung together in what can hardly be called a realistic storyline. Also, the melodramatic delivery of the lines by the actors is sometimes laughable, further alienating the viewer. ISMAEL’S GHOSTS contains a high amount of questionable content including extreme lewd content, nudity, foul language, and violence. It has a strong Romantic worldview where the characters just act out their various lusts. ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is an unacceptable, abhorrent, incoherent work.