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PRODUCTION France

Dupeyron lands in the cités

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Filming on François Dupeyron’s eighth feature Aide toi, le ciel t’aidera (“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”) kicks off today in the Parisian suburb of Mureaux.

A social drama about a marriage in a black family living in a cité, one of the city’s rough suburban neighbourhoods, the ARP production stars Félicité Wouassi (Black Mic Mac, La haine), Fatou N’Diaye, Claude Rich, Mamadou Diouma, Mata Gabin, Marcel Cuvellier, Renée Le Calm and Raymond Gilles.

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Written by the director, the story is set during the summer of 2003 and centres on a young black family and several elderly whites. Sonia (Wouassi), a domestic helper doing her best to make ends meet, is preparing her daughter’s wedding while trying to discipline her eldest, drug trafficking son.

However, on the morning of the wedding, her husband dies. In order not to ruin the celebration, Sonia takes the advice of a neighbour and buries the corpse in the basement. An intensely politically incorrect comedy ensues, dealing with the relationship between whites and blacks, young and old.

In seven films since 1988’s Strange Place for an Encounter, Dupeyron has become one of the most popular French directors among cinephiles. What’s Life? won Best Film and Best Actor at San Sebastian in 1999, Officer’s Ward was selected in competition at Cannes 2001 and Monsieur Ibrahim [+see also:
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screened out of competition at Venice in 2003 and also won a Best Actor César in 2004.

Since his last feature Inguélézi (in competition at San Sebastian 2004), Dupeyron has tried in vain to direct an adaptation of Voyage au bout de la nuit, then a film project on Arthur Rimbaud (Les jours fragiles) and stood in for Claude Berri on the set of Hunting and Gathering [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

Produced by ARP (who will also handle the title’s theatrical release in April 2008), Aide toi, le ciel t’aidera, which has an eight week shoot, received €410,000 in advances on receipts from the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC).

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(Translated from French)

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