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PRODUCTION France / Belgium

Lucas Belvaux directing Gérard Depardieu in Des hommes

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- The Belgian filmmaker is reopening a chapter in France’s colonial history with this adaptation of a Laurent Mauvignier novel

Lucas Belvaux directing Gérard Depardieu in Des hommes
Director Lucas Belvaux and actor Gérard Depardieu

Lucas Belvaux is gearing up to begin the shoot for his new film, Des hommes (lit. “Of Men”), which is a fresh exploration of the heart of contemporary French history and the scars left by the Algerian War. The movie will star Gérard DepardieuCatherine Frot and Jean-Pierre Darroussin.

This is the second time that French novelist Laurent Mauvignier has had one of his works adapted by a Belgian director, following the January release of Keep Going [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
 by Joachim LafosseDes hommes explores the wall of silence surrounding the so-called “years of lead” that the Algerian War represented for France and its people. In it, we follow several former soldiers who were deployed on the front line for two years, and who, ever since their return to France, have stayed quiet about their experience. Forty years later, their past catches up with them, and they will have to confront this particular chapter in world history and their own life stories.

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After homing in on the issue of National Front voting in This Is Our Land [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lucas Belvaux
film profile
]
, Belvaux now ponders this founding era in French history, which is nonetheless seldom fictionalised. Flanking Gérard Depardieu are two thesps who previously acted for Belvaux in his An Amazing Couple [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – On the Run [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – After Life [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 trilogy in 2001, Catherine Frot and Jean-Pierre Darroussin. And playing the role of young Depardieu is up-and-coming Belgian actor Yoann Zimmer (Savage [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
The Unknown Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
).

The filmmaker will be accompanied for the first time by DoP Guillaume Deffontaines, who regularly partners up with Bruno Dumont and won the César Award for Best Cinematography for Slack Bay [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Bruno Dumont
film profile
]
 in 2017, and will entrust the editing of the film to Belgium’s Ludo Troch, with whom he previously worked on On the RunThe Right of the Weakest [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Not My Type [+see also:
trailer
interview: Lucas Belvaux
film profile
]
 and This Is Our Land.

The film, principal photography for which will start on 4 April in the Morvan and Morocco, is being produced in France by David Frenkel for Synecdoche and by Patrick Quinet for Belgian outfit Artemis Productions. It will be distributed by Ad Vitam in France and is being sold overseas by Doc & FilmFrance 3 Cinéma is also on board as a co-producer, with backing from Canal+Ciné+France Télévisions, the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, the CNC, the Film and Audiovisual Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and Eurimages.

(Translated from French)

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