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CANNES 2002 Competition

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Guédiguian: "Personal is Political"


- French director, in competition with Marie-Jo et ses deux amours answers his critics

Guédiguian: "Personal is Political"

A romantic and intimate film that celebrates spirituality and passionate love. Using these adjectives to describe a film by Robert Guédiguan may be something of a paradox, but if this native of Marseille has one gift - aside from a wonderful sense of humour and a total absence of rhetoric - it has to be his ability to surprise us. This is the first of four French films in competition this year and is the story of a woman (Ariane Ascaride, Guédiguan´s muse and companion) who cannot decide whether she prefers her lover to her husband. And if anyone dares to say that this film is less overtly «political» that his previous ones, Guédiguan, a man who at 17 liked to read Marx by day and Goethe by night, has this to say: «Portraying real life, private sentiments and public pain is political.»
This is the first time that this ebullient director has a film in competition in Cannes (the festival that «discovered» him in a sidebar section 7 years ago) and he has ennervated his totally normal characters with some very intense feelings in the «archetypal romantic story».
«The woman in this film has an extremely fragile and uncertain existence. When you love one person you feel much more secure,» Ariana Ascaride informs us. Although she is on the eve of her fiftieth birthday, Guédiguan films her naked body unashamedly. «This was a first for me and it was not easy,» she said. The cast includes Guédiguan´s favourite actors: Jean-Pierre Darroussin plays Daniel the builder who´s married to Marie-Jo while Gérard Meylan plays Marco, a ship´s captain and Marie-Jo´s restless lover. Jacques Boudet plays Jean-Christophe, Marie-Jo´s alcoholic client.

(Translated from Italian)

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