“It’s a film, not a documentary or a hidden camera.”
Since its presentation at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, North ferry caused a lot of ink to flow. During the press conference for this muscular thriller directed by Cedric Jimenez and carried by Francois Civil, Karim Leklou and Gilles Lellouche, an Irish journalist had asked the team about potential political takeovers of its subject, the following film of the corrupt police officers in Marseilles and going out to the cinema a few months before a presidential election. They had taken the matter lightly, but since its release in August, North ferry has actually been taken as an example by political figures, particularly from the extreme right, like Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour. This week, shortly after the announcement of the César selection and the 7 nominations of North ferry, it was learned that Alliance, a police union, had decided to screen him as part of a meeting with several presidential candidates. Organized at the Club de l’Etoile, in Paris, this political event caused its director to react on France Inter (his full interview is to read here).
Cédric Jimenez is indignant at “pure political recovery” around Bac Nord
First of all, Cédric Jimenez explains that he learned of the existence of this meeting “very late”then details: “I know they asked the producer for the trailer, which we refused. Despite that, we can’t do anything, we can’t prevent people from watching the film. We weren’t warned, we have even less given our agreement. We can’t do anything. It’s disturbing, it bothers me a lot…” The person concerned then considers that“a film remains a cinematographic work and it cannot become a political object.” Judging that to present it just before speeches by presidential candidates “no sense”he laments that his film is used as a political argument: “I repeat, it’s a film, not a documentary or a hidden camera. I made a film with a point of view. It’s a very particular, exceptional case, where cops ended up in prison. It doesn’t happen every day. It doesn’t represent the daily life of the neighborhoods, nor that of the police. They don’t carry out operations like that every day, every week, it’s not true, so it’s a film, a fiction, which focuses on a court case.” He concludes by explaining that the multiple political recoveries of North ferry put him off directing other films of this style: “If there is a political recovery each time the subject of a film touches on something political, that means that we only have to do family comedies. Things that are really very , very harmless. It’s worrying in general, not just for me. If we make movies, it’s because we chose not to do politics.”
However, the next films by Cédric Jimenez risk in turn being talked about for political reasons, since they will focus on two recent dramas: November will retrace the attacks of November 13, 2015, then Green will tell the captivity of Ingrid Betancourt and Clara Rojas in the jungle. The former Colombian presidential candidate was kidnapped along with her campaign manager, and they were held captive for 7 years. The first will be worn by Anaïs Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jérémie Renier, Lyna Khoudri, Cédric Khan, Sofian Khammes, Sami Outalbali and Stéphane Bak, and it will be released on October 5, 2022. We do not yet know the cast of the second project, which comes to be announced.
François Civil and Gilles Lellouche – Bac Nord: “I don’t think the film is controversial”