Magimel and Dupontel take on the enemy
by Fabien Lemercier
20/06/2006 - The atrocities of the Algerian war, and torture in particular, are the themes of Florent Emilio Siri’s fourth feature Ennemi Intime (lit. "Private Enemy"), the shooting of which began on June 12 near Casablanca, Morocco and will continue through August 5. The film stars Benoît Magimel and Albert Dupontel, as well as Aurélien Recoing, Marc Barbé, Vincent Rottiers, Lounès Tazaïrt, Abdelhafid Metalsi and Fellag.
Co-scripted by the director himself, the screenplay was written by historian, journalist and documentary filmmaker Patrick Rotman, an expert on the Algerian war [and the interviewer in 1992’s La guerre sans nom (lit. "The War Without a Name") by Bertrand Tavernier and screenwriter of the 2005 TV film Nuit noire, 17 octobre 1961 by Alain Tasma]. Rotman, author of the investigative book entitled L'ennemi intime published early last year, was persuaded by Magimel to make a screen adaptation of the eyewitness accounts by young soldiers drafted into the Algerian war who carried out inhumane acts of violence of which they never thought themselves capable, only to discover that they were their own worst enemies.
In Kabylie in June 1959, Terrien (Magimel), an idealistic lieutenant, becomes the head of a section of the French army. There he meets Sergeant Dougnac (Dupontel), a hard-line professional soldier. The atrocities of the war, as well as the two men’s differences, quickly put both to the test. According to Rotman, "that is when Ennemi intime, a historic film, becomes contemporary, as the issues it raises with regard to the revolutionary war, blind terrorism and torture, have not lost any of their relevance."
Director Siri, who started out in features in 1998 with Une minute de silence and went on to show his know-how in action films The Nest and Hostage (starring Bruce Willis), will faithfully portray these themes. Magimel has already starred in the director’s first two films while the Ennemi intime soundtrack will be composed by rising star Alexandre Desplats.
Produced by Denis Pineau-Valencienne and François Kraus for Les Films du Kiosque, Ennemi Intime received backing from France 2 Cinéma and will be distributed by SND in France in the first half of 2007. M6 Droits Audiovisuels will handle international sales.
(Translated from French)