itinerary of a French icon on Canal +

Olivier Dahan retraces the life of the Auschwitz survivor who became a politician. Rebecca Marder and Elsa Zylberstein play her brilliantly, from her childhood to the end of her life, in a film that is sometimes too didactic.

Let’s evacuate right away”there» question: the actress Elsa Zylberstein, who has been decked out with two heavy prostheses intended to round her cheeks, manages to inhabit the character of Simone Veil. Some scenes showing the latter at the twilight of her life, sitting on a terrace, are even strikingly similar.

As for Rebecca Marder, who embodies her in her younger years, she bursts the screen. Simone’s two sons, Jean and Pierre-François, who reread the script and saw the film several times, would have been, according to the director Olivier Dahanupset.

Political commitment

Simone, the trip of the century recounts the rich and tormented life of this committed politician, from childhood to the end. The bet was daring for the director who had already shot The kid , portrait of Edith Piaf or the biopic, missed this one, of Grace of Monaco. Between family life in La Ciotat, deportation to Auschwitz, his fight for the dignity of Algerian prisoners at the end of the 1950s, the epic of the law on abortion in 1974, the political commitment in favor of Europe and against the FN, the trajectory of Simone Veil goes far beyond fiction.

Read alsoDawn at Birkenau: Simone Veil, from Auschwitz to the Pantheon

A public woman, she also told herself in a book and a series of interviews, to the point of being part of the memory of the French. Five years after entering the Panthéon, Simone Veil is now an icon, in essence untouchable and difficult to sum up. Some spectators will therefore denounce a simplification in the story, even a hagiographic tone. In a strong way, Simone Veil is transformed for more than two hours into a character “feminist», and in social pionaria: for a bit, we would clify her politically on the extreme left, she who was a leading right-wing personality.

A film for young people

But Olivier Dahan claims a simple scenario, likely to interest young people, and which wants to resonate with “current battlesof the new generations. The film pleases and will appeal to schoolchildren, it is its destiny. Formally, it is didactic, with a construction made of back and forth between the past and the present. It’s sometimes messy, the flashbacks are linked together in a disorderly way. Simone, the journey of the century opens, for example, with the vote on the law on abortion in 1974, which we will not hear more about afterwards, before leaving again in the 1930s or 1940s.

Read alsoElsa Zylberstein as Simone Veil

Over and over again, Olivier Dahan, several of whose family members were deported to the camps, returns to the tragic experience of the Veil family in Auschwitz and its consequences in Simone’s life. He makes it the matrix of his commitment. In fact, the dark year of his 16th birthday, which marked a cruel turning point, was a common thread in the positions of his existence. To the somewhat stiff scenes devoted to the law on abortion, in which Elsa Zylberstein is forced to thunder to show her conviction in the face of despicable deputies, we prefer those around childhood, even those describing deportation.

Read alsoSimone Veil, iconic figure of 20th century combat

The latter are generally difficult to render in a fiction, as the deportees themselves said they were incapable of expressing what they had experienced. This time, they ring relatively true, an emotion ping through the chaos suffered by Simone, her sister and her mother.
Likewise, the scenes showing her magnificent relationship with her husband Antoine, embodied by a perfect Olivier Gourmet, reflect the love she had for this man who rests by her side, in the Pantheon.

Source link

Leave a Reply