With Le Jugement Dernier (The Last Judgment), BHL becomes a playwright. Staged at the Théâtre de l’Atelier under the direction of Jean-Louis Martinelli, the play presents a vast tableau of the twentieth century: communism, Nazism, Pol Pot, and the century’s other great episodes of deadly delirium. The fourth volume of Questions de Principe IV: Idées fixes (Livre de Poche, 1992) gathers together a new set of articles on Europe after communism, the Gulf War, and the Touvier Affair, along with tributes to several major contemporary thinkers: Roland Barthes, Louis Althusser, Jacques Lacan.
In 1993, Lévy divorces Sylvie Bouscasse and, in June, marries actress Arielle Dombasle. The wedding takes place at à La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul de Vence, with Jean-Paul Enthoven and Gilles Hertzog serving as Lévy’s witnesses at the ceremony. Les Hommes et les Femmes, a book of conversations about love with Françoise Giroud is published by Olivier Orban.
Also in 1993, François Mitterrand appoints Lévy as chairman of the supervisory board of Sept-Arte, where he serves alongside an old friend, film producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, who is vice chairman. The appointment marks the beginning of a long and friendly working relationship with Jérôme Clément, the president of the network. Lévy begins to write a weekly column for Le Point and organizes, under the aegis of La Règle du Jeu, a visit to Paris and a tour of Europe for Bosnian president Izetbegovic.
From September 1993 to March 1994, Bernard-Henri Lévy devotes nearly all of his time to filming Bosna!. Shot on the front lines and in besieged Sarajevo, in the heat of battle and in the caves where the city’s residents took shelter, the film provides a unique perspective on the Bosnian tragedy. Assisting Lévy are Gilles Hertzog, his long-time collaborator and co-screenwriter, and Alain Ferrari, co-director. The film is produced by Films du Lendemain, a production company created for the purpose by Lévy’s father, André Lévy, and François Pinault. The film is shown at the 1994 Cannes Festival in the section known as “Un certain regard,” curated by Gilles Jacob.
In May 1994, following the appearance of the film and in response to questions from journalists Albert du Roy and Alain Duhamel during a memorable “Heure de Vérité” (Hour of Truth, at the time the leading political show on French television), BHL proposes the idea of a “Sarajevo list” in the European elections. The idea and the resulting list contribute to a strong shift in public opinion in favor of Bosnia. But believing that the requirements put forward by the list have been taken into account by the major parties, Bernard-Henri Lévy then advocates the withdrawal and dissolution of the list. Some candidates—notably Léon Schwartzenberg, Marina Vlady, and Amiral Sanguinetti—decline to withdraw and remain on the list through the election.
Together with Alain Finkielkraut, André Glucksmann, Jacques Juillard, Pascal Bruckner, and others, Lévy founds the Committee on Reflection and Intervention to protest the ongoing massacres in Bosnia, Algeria, and Rwanda. In fall 1994, in reaction to the unfolding tragedies, Bernard-Henri Lévy publishes La pureté dangereuse (Grasset) in which he proposes the concept of a will to purity that is equally evident in the identity-fueled madness of Rwanda’s Hutus as in the ethnic cleansing being carried out in Bosnia.
In 1995, BHL publishes volume five of Questions de Principe, followed the next year by Le Lys et la Cendre: Journal d’un écrivain au temps de guerre en Bosnie. In addition to a fervent plea for war-torn Bosnia, the essay contains sketches from life of Margaret Thatcher, Pope Jean-Paul II, and François Mitterrand, as well as heartfelt recollections of André Malraux.
In 1997, Bernard-Henri Lévy films Le Jour et la Nuit in Mexico, co-written by Jean-Paul Enthoven and starring Alain Delon, Arielle Dombasle, and Lauren Bacall. The film is an official selection at the 1997 Berlin Festival but is a commercial and critical flop.
After the failure of the film, Lévy leaves for Tangier, where he writes Comédie (Grasset), a very personal essay in which he mocks what he calls his “marionette” self and delivers a merciless critique of “BHL.” Comédie also provides a lucid analysis of the “entertainment society” and the Romain Gary/Émile Ajar affair. In this moving confession, the author takes off his mask. “Self-portrait,” he insists, “not self-fiction,” a self-portrait that “poses questions and questions posed.”