“You Will Never Finish Paying”: Contract and Regulation, Globalization and Control


In Claire Denis’ 2005 film L’Intrus, a man who has been very physically fit and who has led an active life begins to recognize his own physical vulnerability, as he ages and becomes ill with a weak heart. He decides to buy a new heart. Drawing from a sequence of scenes, we surmise that this is to be achieved through the purchase of a heart (and operation) from a clandestine international market in organs and organ transplants. He travels to Switzerland to take money from a bank account to pay for the transaction. He meets a woman in a hotel room, to whom he gives his order for a “young” heart. Scenes of him moving with ease through a number of countries in order to accomplish his project are intercut with scenes of attempts at illicit border crossings, both by people engaged in contraband smuggling and workers sans papiers.

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