A love affair between the lines in Jaurès
by Boyd van Hoeij
20/02/2012 - The French docu-fiction project Jaurès, named after the Parisian métro station, had its world premiere at the recent Berlin Film Festival in the Forum section for innovative and avant-garde cinema. It would go on to become the winner of the Teddy Award Jury Prize, award by a jury looking at film with GLBTQ themes.
The film is the latest work of French filmmaker Vincent Dieutre (pictured), a regular of the Berlinale Forum whose previous films Desperate Rome, Tenebrae Lessons and My Winter Journey also screened there.
The film is inventive in its collage approach to reality and fiction as it tries to piece together a narrative from wildly varying elements. The film stars the director and Eva Truffaut (daughter of François Truffaut), who look at, discuss and comment on fragments of footage shot from the apartment of Simon, the former lover of Vincent.
Simon lived close to the titular underground station, where a handful of Afghan refugees had set up a camp beneath the Lafayette Bridge over the Canal Saint-Martin. Simon was involved in their plight, and their story and battle becomes a mirror in which the phantomatic love affair between Vincent and Simon, something that seems to exist only by virtue of the other elements existing.
Shot on digital video, the film is an improvised puzzle that not only tries to suggest what Jaurès neighbourhood in Paris is like, but also tries to conjure a picture of a love affair with someone who is not really seen, since the real Simon – whose name and life was changed for the film – never appears on screen.
Like the other works of Dieutre, the film is neither completely fictional nor entirely documentary, and has theatrical and contemporary art elements woven into its fabric.
The film was produced by Stéphane Jourdain for La Huit Production, in co-production with Cinaps TV. It is also distributed by La Huit in France.