38 Winesses and a long-lost legend
by Aurore Engelen
14/03/2012 - Today Lucas Belvaux’s eighth film, 38 Témoins [trailer], is released in Belgian cinemas. Born in Namur, Lucas Belvaux moved away and started his career at the beginning of the 1980s in France. For ten years, he was an actor in cinema (for Chabrol, Assayas and Rivette) and a little on television, before launching his career behind the camera with Parfois trop d’amour (lit. “Sometimes too much love”) in 1992. In 2002, he made a hit with a trilogy, a surprising and daring project consisting of variations around three couples in the same place, in three different genres. Film by film, the director has built a body of work that is socially committed, close to the human being, in line with the moral questions of his time.
In 2009, Belvaux met Yvan Attal, on the shooting of Rapt! [trailer], a film inspired by the real story of Baron Empain’s abduction. Attal had bought the rights for writer and filmmaker Didier Decoin’s novel, Est-ce ainsi que les femmes meurent ? (lit. “Is this how women die?”), inspired by the case of Kitty Genovese that appeared briefly in the news in the 1960s in the United States, and suggested the project to Belvaux. In 38 Witnesses, the latter asks us: What would we do? He raises the issues of mass apathy and the dissoluton of responsability, by widening the scope of a question that resonates in even the most recent of history. Produced by Agat Filmsa and Patrick Sobelman, co-produced by Yvan Attal and Artémis, as well as Patrick Quinet for Belgium, the film received support from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s Cinema and Audiovisual Centre and from TaxShelter. The film has been released in five cinemas by loyal distributor Cinéart.
As for the event of the week, it is of course the release of Cloclo [trailer]. Catapulted onto the screen in 33 cinemas, the film is even enjoying a full national release with 7 copies in Flanders, where audiences will remember Jérémie Rénier’s brilliant performance. In part shot and post-produced in Belgium, the film is co-produced by Scope Pictures.
(Translated from French)