Cannes 2023: why “Flo”, the biopic on Florence Arthaud, provokes the anger of her family

“Flo”, the first fiction of documentary filmmaker Géraldine Danon, is presented this Friday evening at the Cannes Film Festival. In this biopic, Florence Arthaud, the first – and only – woman to have won the Route du Rhum in 1990, is played by the young actress Stéphane Caillard.

But this feature film arouses the anger of the family of the navigator, who died in 2015 in a collision between two helicopters who participated in the filming of the reality TV show Dropped in Argentina. Her daughter, Marie Arthaud-Lingois, worries that the film gives “a bad image” of her mother. She even brought an interim order to obtain the script for the feature film.

His request was rejected in mid-April by the Paris court. He considered that none of the “elements produced” by the daughter of Florence Arthaud “can confirm the fears she expresses of seeing her mother’s life exposed” in a degrading manner likely to undermine her memory ” .

But then, what are the concerns of Marie Arthaud-Lingois based on? She argues that certain elements of Yann Queffélec’s book “The sea and beyond”, biography of Florence Arthaud published in 2020 from which the biopic is inspired, “affected the memory” of her mother. She fears that the script for the film “repeats these attacks and in turn constitutes an interference in her own private life”, according to the interim order issued in mid-April. She also points to pages in the book where the navigator “is drunk, neglected or even lacking in notoriety”.

“They only know a small part of the life of Florence”

The court pointed out that the book relates the life of Florence Arthaud “in the form of a fictionalized story” and that this story “is itself intended to serve as a new work of fiction”. The judges also noted that Géraldine Danon had expressed “the bonds of friendship that she herself maintained with the navigator”.

In our columns, the director of “Flo” recalls that the family criticizes her film “without having seen it”. “We never let go. She really is a close friend. She is the godmother of my son, until the day before his death we communicated, ”she even told us. “Afterwards, everyone has their own vision of a character. Even when one is close to it, it is an interpretation. I tried to be as close as possible to my feelings about her and the colors of her personality that I wanted to show. »

Interviewed in Cannes by BFMTV, the brother of Florence Arthaud goes in the same direction as his niece. “It’s a project that completely misses the magic of the character. They only know a small part of the life of Florence. The script I read is not up to par,” he criticizes. Screened this Friday evening in Cannes, “Flo” is scheduled for cinemas on November 29.

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