Martyrs: A journey into the heart of darkness
by Fabien Lemercier
Final preparations are underway before shooting begins in Canada in March on Martyrs, the second feature by Pascal Laugier.
Laugier first came to public acclaim in France in 2004 with his debut film House of Voices, which went on to have a spectacular success at the Spanish box office in the summer of 2005.
Featuring Morjane Alaoui (Marock) and Mylene Jampanoi (Valley of Flowers), Martyrs promises to be an indulgent journey into the heart of darkness of a human soul, set against the backdrop of child kidnapping, torture and revenge.
Scripted by the director, the film opens on a night in France in the 1970s. Lucie, a young girl who disappeared the year before, is discovered wandering along a roadside. Almost lifeless, Lucie has no recollection of events. Police officers swiftly uncover where she was locked up, an old abattoir. Yet Lucie carries no traces of sexual abuse, which adds to the mystery of the affair.
Hospitalised, she learns to live again – despite the nightmares in which a tortured man appears to her – and makes friends with Ana, another young girl taken into care after having suffered abuse in her family.
Fifteen years later, at a house of a family in the forest, Lucie turns up, shotgun in hand and opens fire on the father of the family.
Like House of Voices, the €2.8m Martyrs was produced by Richard Grandpierre for Eskwad and will have an eight- to ten-week shoot in Canada.
The film’s French release is slated for 2008 through the distribution arm of Wild Bunch, who are also handling international sales.
Another recent title from the Eskwad slate is directing duo David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s horror Ils - Them [+see also:
film profile], which has recorded excellent results, especially in terms of international sales.
Grandpierre’s production outfit are currently working on the post-production of Marc Caro’s Dante 01 (see news).
(Translated from French)