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GAND 2020

Stephan Streker • Regista di L’Ennemi

"La domanda è sempre più interessante della risposta"

di 

- Incontro con il regista belga Stephan Streker per parlare del suo nuovo film, L’Ennemi, presentato in Concorso al Festival di Gand

Stephan Streker • Regista di L’Ennemi

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

Cineuropa met with Belgian director Stephan Streker (A Wedding [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Stephan Streker
scheda film
]
, The World Belongs to Us [+leggi anche:
trailer
intervista: Stephan Streker
scheda film
]
), on the occasion of the presentation of his new film The Enemy [+leggi anche:
recensione
intervista: Stephan Streker
scheda film
]
, which opened Film Fest Gent’s Official Competition and which is loosely based on a political-judicial news story which shook Belgium to the core: that of a high-profile, French-speaking Belgian politician accused of murdering his wife who was found dead in their hotel room.

(L'articolo continua qui sotto - Inf. pubblicitaria)

Cineuropa: At what point did this news item which shocked Belgium become a film for you?
Stephan Streker:
In all honesty, I wasn’t all that interested in it to begin with, but everything changed when I met up with two people on the same day, one of whom declared with absolute confidence: "He’s guilty", and the other, with the same level of confidence insisted: "He’s innocent". This absolute certainty said more about the people discussing it than the truth of the situation.

I thought it would be interesting to make a film which enters into a character’s inner world, without delivering any answers over the truth. And the reason for our interest in him would be: did he or did he not kill his wife? As I took a greater interest in the case, I realised it was also a great love story, practically a Greek tragedy, and that allowed me to probe the question of truth and inner conviction.

In these times of social media, where everything is binary and can be reduced to a hashtag - #guilty, #innocent - it’s important that films respect the complexity and ambiguity of these situations. I like to leave moral judgements up to the viewer. I’ve always found questions to be more interesting than answers, and that’s what I try to do in my films. Questions open up debate, whereas answers shut it down.

For me, the film represents a living nightmare: what happens to him is a nightmare, whatever his degree of guilt. I wanted to construct the film with this in mind.

In my opinion, the enemy also lies inside of us. It’s rare we come across an enemy worse than ourselves. For most human beings, the worst enemy they’ll ever have to face in their lives is themselves. The question of the enemy within us is one that really intrigues me…

You speak about Belgium as if it were an invisible character in the film?
It has to be said that without Belgium, this affair wouldn’t have taken on the same dimensions. A great deal of the misunderstandings that arose in the case stemmed from communication issues between Louis Durieux and the police, notably "straightforward" language issues.

One of my characters, played by Sam Louwyck, reproaches Louis for the fact that he’s a minister who can’t speak Flemish. And it’s true, I find it unbelievable that we can have Prime Ministers who don’t speak the language spoken by the majority of the country, or who don’t know the national anthem. Our country is strange, and certain details in this case are very closely linked to the fact that we have two (majority) Communities in Belgium.

On that note, can we talk about the cast, and Jérémie Renier in particular?
What impressed me the most about him was the motivation/high standards/work ethic trio that he brings. Like me, he’s convinced that film is a physical art. I wanted to age him and he replied: "If you want to age me, I’ll need to lose weight". And he did it, he transformed himself, he didn’t want to use prosthetics or make-up that would deform his appearance too much. Actors are generally either technical, and that’s fine, or they’re instinctive, and that’s fine too. But Jérémie is both… The actors I worked with on The Enemy were of the highest calibre that I’d come across since making films.

At the beginning of the film, a title card reads: "loosely based upon a true story". How do you find freedom within a true story?
Freedom is absolute. It’s absolute so long as we respect the law. For my part, I take all kinds of liberties, I only retain the substratum of a story. A French speaking Belgian politician is accused of killing his wife who is found dead in a hotel room in Ostend. These are exact facts which correspond to a real situation and which form the basis of the film. All the rest is an act of creation, the nobility of artistic expression.

Louis’ story has a machine effect, stoking people’s imaginations. The story slips out of his control.
Precisely. He was the protagonist of what happened in that room, but only other people are certain about what happened. In fact, he only addresses the matter once in the film, stating: "Even if I hadn’t done anything that made me guilty in that room, I’m still not sure it would mean I was innocent."

(L'articolo continua qui sotto - Inf. pubblicitaria)

(Tradotto dal francese)

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