Distribution of commemorative films
Cinema – When culture comes to a prison environment, the results are sometimes astounding. the film victory Starring Kad Merad, it hits theaters on Wednesday, September 1. To tell the link between this novel and the true story that was the subject of a 2005 documentary, director Emmanuel Corcol and actor Jan Johnson, who inspired the plot, captivated in HuffPost.
The feature film tells the story of an actor who wants to give meaning to his professional and personal career. Then he makes the decision to lead a theater workshop in prison. Etienne, played by Kad Mourad, will not stop at anything, neither the strict rules imposed on him by the prison administration nor the doubts expressed by prisoners who do not consider themselves educated enough to perform in front of an audience.
He is determined to make them learn waiting for godot By Samuel Beckett, a play that symbolizes anticipation and absurdity, a metaphor for daily life in prison according to him. The main thing for the actor is to reveal the hidden talent of these prisoners and show viewers that they can also become actors.
The plot of the film is inspired by the story of Jan Johnson, an actor who worked in Komla, a maximum security prison in Sweden in the 1980s. However, unlike Emmanuel Courcol’s film, he had the opportunity to meet some prisoners by chance during a theatrical performance.
The 73-year-old Swede explains to HuffPost. “For my part, I was making a monologue in front of the audience, but from the first lines, a spectator began to respond to me, which is unusual in the theater. At the end of the show, he came to talk to me to ask me to come and play in the prison where he worked as a director.”
Beckett is my hero.
Jan Johnson accepts and finds himself forced to perform in prison. While he was performing in front of dozens of people, some insulted him and did not listen to him. But at the end of the play several prisoners came to see him thanking him. “There’s this guy who gave me the middle finger and came back to me at the end of the show, gave me a rose and thanked me,” Jan Johnson said with a smile.
Then several of them asked me to give them acting lessons. I said I didn’t know if I could give them lessons, but I was going to read them a play by Samuel Beckett. Then one of the prisoners replied, “Beckett is my hero.” After 3 months, the Swedish actor was able to choose 5 prisoners for these one-year workshops. Despite the reluctance of the prison administration, which was also shown in the film, the troupe managed to go on tour and perform on the theaters of many Swedish theaters.
bossvictory As for him, he wanted to give himself some liberties in his film. “It was interesting to start from a real story, because it gives the film a guarantee. I wanted to keep the thread of the story with a similar ending. However, all the characters are fictional, including the actor played by Cad Murad”, explains Emmanuel Corcol HuffPost. His desire to reproduce the entire story of Jan Johnson was not like an “autobiography”, but rather was inspired by it to bring to life the practices still taking place in France. In fact, six prison inmates performed on the stage of the Paris Villette theater in 2017, for the first time in France.
Filming in Mo Prison
victory It was filmed in Mu Prison, where theater workshops were held. The setting allowed the actors to perceive the everyday life of the prison environment during filming, according to the director. While Cad Murad was not available for several months, Emmanuel Corcol had to wait before starting shooting for his movie. During this time, he meets the prison’s cultural coordinator who offers acting lessons to inmates. For 8 months, I attended one of the workshops and we photographed it. It actually fueled the script for my feature film,” he explains.
With a group of talented actors such as Pierre Loutin, Sofiane Khams, David Ayala and Lamine Sissoko, victory He managed to put into perspective the problems of the French prison environment and the importance of culture in the rehabilitation of people. The director also asserts that Sweden has “always been one step ahead of France”, and that it wasn’t difficult to eventually adapt an 80s story in 2021. With Kad Merad Flamboyant, many enjoyed in the series. Baron Noer, Emmanuel Courcol has succeeded in adapting a Swedish story while reflecting in it the problems of contemporary French society.
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