"Nanni Moretti, a great director"
by Fabien Lemercier
- The film’s French co-producer and distributor explains the reasons behind his commitment to a man he considers to be one of the world’s most important directors
Cineuropa: Why did you decide to co-produce The Caiman [+see also:
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile] by Nanni Moretti?
Jean Labadie: I’ve been Nanni Moretti’s distributor and co-producer on numerous films now because he’s one of the most important directors in the world. The Caiman represents an extremely important investment for Bac Films (which has a 20% stake in the film) because Nanni could not and did not want to be co-produced by an Italian broadcaster. France is an important partner in the film (30%), without forgetting Vincent Maraval of Wild Bunch, who participated in a significant way so that the film could be made under acceptable conditions.
What is your perspective on the film?
The Caiman is extremely intelligent in terms of political cinema, because it speaks about Berlusconi with humour and inventiveness, finding a way to make it a universal film. Beyond Berlusconi, it is a general criticism against the problems of most democracies, of numerous current European leaders who have escaped justice despite extremely serious misconduct. The film deals with many themes: it speaks of humanity through the main character of the film producer who is going through a divorce, as well as cinema, because it simultaneously speaks of a producer who finds himself faced with a difficult topic to tackle. And it speaks of politics, since the subject of the film he wants to make is the Italian president.
Does Caiman’s similarity to current politics worry you as investors?
I think more about seeing a film than about the risks, especially after Nanni made The Son’s Room [+see also:
film profile], given its “cursed” subject matter (the death of a child). And we saw with what delicacy and talent he managed to deal with it and make the film successful and brilliant. Even before that, we made a film in three episodes and everyone said it would have been a catastrophe. The result? The film was Dear Diary. Nanni is a great director and The Caiman is yet more proof. We must emphasise his courage because it wasn’t easy to tell this story and edit it in a year, depriving himself of financial relationships (Nanni is both the film’s producer and distributor) with one of the most powerful men in television, and the media in general, in Italy. It was not easy. All of that seduced me even more as it’s an enormous reflection on what it means to address politics, and how it can be done, what stories can be told.... It is a film of unprecedented substance.