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Eugène Green: "I'm not interested in living in the past, but understanding what made us"


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One of the 55FICX main attractions is the addition of Eugène Green's latest film En attendant les barbares, in the competitive section
The prestigious French director appeared before the media to speak about his latest work and the long-awaited return to a festival he feels linked to by "a special relationship". Green was already present in Gijón with La religiosa portuguesa (2009) and returned the next year for a retrospective about his work. This year he's presenting a world premiere for a film born in a very different production environment from that of his previous film.

En attendant les barbares arose as a workshop from the director alongside the actors from the Chantiers Nomades Company. "I made a theoretical class in 2015 and now they asked me for a practical workshop", which he decided to use as the seed for a film where the actors' work was essential. "There were 35 candidates and I had to choose 12 without having worked with them", with a final result he didn't hesitate to define as a "miracle". With the workshop located at Toulouse, Green decided to integrate Occitan culture in all the sections of his film. "I focused on three paintings by Nicolas Tournier and an Arthuric poem by Jaufré Rudel".

The film presents an extreme filtering of the Green's usual author labels. In his cinema, he bet for the spoken word as a recipe to overcome society's illnesses. "It plays an important role in my works, it's something existential for me", with the particularity that "in contrast to other media, cinema serves to free the actors' energy". Moreover, the verbal act drives a relationship with the preterite time that is also present at the core of his films. "I'm not interested in living in the past, but understanding what made us". The previous ages attract him as "a living force in the present", and that's why his new film tackled themes that he considers current through references from other centuries, because "by maintaining their legacy we can find a solution to our current problems".

Sergio de Benito
Palabras clave Festival de Cine, 2017