The Glass Fortress (film)

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The Glass Fortress (French: La forteresse de verre) is a 2016 French science fiction short film directed by Alain Bourret. The film presents a world of harmony and conformity within a united scientific-progressivist state.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] The film is based on the 1921 novel We by the Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin.


One thousand years after the One State's conquest of the entire world, the spaceship Integral is being built in order to invade and conquer extraterrestrial planets. Meanwhile, the project's chief engineer, D-503, begins a journal that he intends to be carried upon the completed spaceship.[3]


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  • Alain Bourret (as Alan B) as Narrator
  • Pierre-Antoine Piter as D-503/Daniel
  • Amélie De Swarte as I-330/Iris
  • Julien Prost as The Well-Doer
  • Alexandre Bourret as The Spokesman
  • Axel Bourret as The Assistant Engineer
  • Axel Bourret as The Doctor
  • Fanny Storck as The Nurse

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The Glass Fortress is an experimental film that employs a technique known as freeze frame, and is shot in black-and-white, which help support the grim atmosphere of the story's dystopian society.[3] The film is technically similar to La Jetée (1962), directed by Chris Marker, and refers somewhat to THX 1138 (1971), by George Lucas, in the "religious appearance of the Well Doer".[4] According to film critic Isabelle Arnaud, The Glass Fortress has a special atmosphere underlining a story of thwarted love that will be long remembered.[5]

Referring to the film project, reviewer Anass Khayati noted that The Glass Fortress is a "very welcome addition to the Zamyatinian literature as it draws more attention to a work that is appreciated less than it deserves ... [the film director] recaptures D-503’s frustrated dream and his incomplete journey to emancipation in a loyal and original rendering. Such gesture should be understood not only as referring to a fictional work that was written in the twenties of the past century: it is in fact a celebration of a novel that sensitises us on issues that are topical to a glocalised, increasingly globalised, NSA-ed world."[2]

According to Alain Bourret, director of the film, "From the beginning, I wanted to put my work more in an academic setting than in the world of cinema. In form, the work was of the traditional type, with only two concessions to the digital one: the shooting and the video editing. Beforehand, I approached and contacted many universities, so that my adaptation is now enrolled in the curriculum of Czech, English and American universities."[6] Bourret continues, "What increases the uniqueness of The Glass Fortress is that the actors did not know my adaptation at all, let alone the script. On screen, they all had an expression of lost beings, they roam like ghosts. This is the message I wanted to convey, that of a lost being, D-503, in a newly acquired freedom and the progressive awakening of his conscience."[6]

See also


  1. Real, Willi (2015). "The Glass Fortress, based upon Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (first published in an English translation in 1924)". Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Khayati, Anass (March 2015). "Review of "The Glass Fortress"". Retrieved 14 July 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wittick, Louis (June 6, 2016). "The Glass Fortress". Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Erlich, Richard D.; Dunn, Thomas P. (April 29, 2016). "The Glass Fortress". Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Arnaud, Isabelle (2018). "The Glass Fortress : Le court métrage" (in fr). Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Vialo, Orianne (June 27, 2016). "La dystopie au coeur de l'adaptation de Nous Autres, par Alain Bourret" (in fr). Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  7. Staff (2016). "Rémi Orts Project & Alan B – The Glass Fortress - Film". Rémi Orts. Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  8. Staff (2016). "Rémi Orts Project & Alan B – The Glass Fortress - Music". Rémi Orts. Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  9. Staff (2016). "The Glass Fortress". Facebook. Retrieved July 12, 2018. 

External links

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