Home » Human Things (France 2) – Yvan Attal: “What influenced me the most was attending a rape trial”

Human Things (France 2) – Yvan Attal: “What influenced me the most was attending a rape trial”

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Human Things (France 2) – Yvan Attal: “What influenced me the most was attending a rape trial”

“I was moved by the book. Being the father of a boy and two girls, I identified with all the characters and, as a result, I realized the difficulty of judging. That’s what interested me. At a time when people were sentenced in two minutes on the Internet, I told myself that it was so difficult to judge that there was only one place to do it: the court.“Human Things, Goncourt Prize for high school students 2019, takes us to the heart of a rape trial. The accused, a brilliant student from a good family, denies the facts: “She consented. » The victim, an introverted young woman, from a more modest background, is, in addition, the daughter of the new companion of her attacker’s mother. Everyone has their own truth, their own suffering, their own defense, their accusations, their flaws…

It’s up to the court to decide! No one will be spared the legal, emotional and social explosion that a trial represents, especially in the media. Alexandre Farel, the defendant, played with conviction by Ben Attal (son of the director and Charlotte Gainsbourg) is the offspring of a media star. Mila, the victim, to whom debutante Suzanne Jouannet lends her finesse, does not have the confidence of Alexandre. When he takes her to a student party in wealthy Paris, she doesn’t have the codes and feels uncomfortable. A stupid bet, the evening gets out of hand. Alexandre takes him to a garden shed. From there, the versions diverge, the lawyers enter the scene behind the scenes, then at the bar of the court. “ How to film in this location without boring the viewer? ”, was the filmmaker’s obsession. Attal has therefore revised its classics: 12 angry men, de Sidney Lumet, Music Box, from Costa-Gavras, and a few others…

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But, to be honest, what influenced me the most was my experience in a criminal court, where I attended a rape trial. There was a silence and a concentration on each other’s words, the weight of palpable responsibility marked me and made me want to film as close as possible to the characters.“, he told us. His objective: to place the spectator in the uncomfortable and exciting position of juror. “The ambition was to challenge everyone and make them think.” Mission accomplished… in very good company. Beyond the two novice actors, of astonishing maturity, the casting is brilliant: Audrey Dana, Pierre Arditi, Mathieu Kassovitz, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benjamin Lavernhe.

To play the defense lawyer, Attal chose the interpreter of Abbé Pierre, because he excels on stage: “Knowing that I would be filming his speech in sequence, I needed an actor capable of delivering a text of several pages. I chose Benjamin, a resident of the Comédie-Française.” Accustomed since his beginnings to having his partner, Charlotte, play, he hesitated to offer the role to their son, Ben, seen in My stupid dog, his previous opus? Not for a second! “ I tour with actors I like. For that matter. My only thought is who are the right actors for the roles? He was.“No objection, he definitely is.

Human Things: Sunday March 17 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2


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