“What’s political within the movie is that it’s a must to impose these mannequin characters, however that doesn’t imply they’re good”
– CANNES 2022: The French filmmaker unpicks her second function, a movie about an Ivorian household dwelling in France
Chosen in Un Sure Regard in 2017 and the winner of the Caméra d’Or with Montparnasse Bienvenüe [+see also:
interview: Léonor Serraille
film profile], French filmmaker Léonor Serraille has now landed in the primary competitors on the 75th Pageant de Cannes together with her second feature-length effort, Mom and Son [+see also:
interview: Léonor Serraille
Cineuropa: Why did you select to discover the topic of household and, extra particularly, a household from Ivory Coast?
Léonor Serraille: It’s a narrative that basically moved me as a result of my accomplice was born elsewhere, and he’s French. We’ve identified one another for 18 years, and there have been some moments after I thought that society dismissed him as probably not being French. That was my start line, and I requested him if I might write about his life. He gave me his inexperienced mild, however he made the purpose that essentially the most fascinating factor can be my tackle it. Firstly, immediately, I realised that it could simply be a fundamental skeleton that might permit me to discover the themes I used to be all for – that’s, being a mom, as a result of I had simply had two youngsters of my very own in two years, why I used to be drifting additional away from my circle of relatives, why the opinion of oldsters modifications, why love – and even long-distance love – is legitimate. I used to be asking myself varied questions, and I had a body of reference. However above all, it was a want to be a member of the viewers, as a result of I wanted these characters in a movie, for me, from a egocentric perspective.
When you had the subject material discovered, how did you construction the chronological dimension of the story and strike a stability between the three primary characters (the mom and her two sons)?
That got here immediately. I had three characters who me, and I wished to journey via time with them, so each had their very own part. Within the first half, I assumed it could be pure to undertake the perspective of the mom who’s arriving in France, and to spend a while together with her. For the eldest of the 2 brothers, I assumed it could be good to catch him at a degree when he’s in an internal downward spiral, verging on despair. As for the youthful brother, he’s there on a regular basis; he will get constructed up little by little, and he’s allowed to develop up, so we are going to see what turns into of this little boy who was initially fairly reserved. That every one occurred in a really pure style, however I actually favored this scholastic, dialectic setting, in three components, which I favored rather a lot after I was within the sixth kind: you possibly can lay issues out, and that drives issues ahead. I clung to that in the course of the writing stage, despite the fact that I divided the third half into two.
Every character tries to decide their place, in relation to themselves, their household and even in society.
Every given character isn’t lacking from the opposite components, and so the outlook on every of them modifications. A baby appears at his mum in a sure manner, and when he’s 18-20 years outdated, he nonetheless appears at her, nevertheless it’s not the identical. How are you going to take care of that? How will we transfer from one perspective to the subsequent? The mum, maybe, appears at her baby rather less. And why can’t she see that he’s unwell? What’s occurring? It was the three views that I discovered intriguing. Then, you adapt the writing to the gestures that they recreate (or don’t recreate), to the power and to the customs they’ve and which curiously they don’t move on, even when the dancing, for instance, is a motif that’s handed down. Afterwards, the little brother falls again right into a type of melancholy that he can’t fairly put his finger on, and since I couldn’t put my finger on it both, it was important for me to know it.
One scene entails racial profiling.
That’s as a result of society is deceitful. It gives the look that all the things is straight as an arrow, nevertheless it’s not: there’s profiling, these moments when society dismisses sure folks as not being actually French. The query of the color of 1’s pores and skin isn’t a problem for me. What’s not pure is the other. I stay in a rustic that’s what it’s: I’m simply filming my nation. And when one makes a movie, one nonetheless has to choose a mannequin of life. I don’t give a toss whether or not individuals are black or white: we’re simply people. My accomplice, for instance, is a father, a instructor, a good friend, he has reminiscences, he reads this or that guide, and so forth: that’s his identification. What’s political within the movie is that it’s a must to impose these mannequin characters, however that doesn’t imply they’re good, as a result of to ensure that them to remain real, they need to even have flaws.
(Translated from French)