Joachim Lafosse explores the limits of humanitarian work in Les Chevaliers Blancs
by Aurore Engelen
- Louise Bourgoin teams up with Vincent Lindon, Valérie Donzelli and Reda Kateb for the filming of Joachim Lafosse’s new film, Les Chevaliers Blancs
On Monday 17 March, Joachim Lafosse is due to start shooting his sixth feature film, Les Chevaliers Blancs [+see also:
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile], in Morocco. Once again, the Belgian director is tackling a grim and complex subject. After having portrayed an infanticidal mother in Our Children [+see also:
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile], and even having detailed an incestuous teacher-pupil relationship in Elève Libre, in Les Chevaliers Blancs he confronts the topic of humanitarian work. Jacques Arnault, the chief executive of the NGO Sud Secours, is organising a high-impact operation: pulling out 300 orphaned victims of the Chadian Civil War in order to take them to potential French adoptive parents. A journalist, Françoise Dubois, accompanies them in order to provide media coverage for the operation. Completely submerged in the brutal reality of a country ravaged by war, Jacques and his team start to lose their convictions and find themselves having to face up to the limits and intricacies of humanitarian response. Once again, Lafosse endeavours to show that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the title of the movie, Les Chevaliers Blancs (The White Knights), emphasises the ambiguity of the issue with scathing irony.
Starring as the chief executive of the NGO is Vincent Lindon, who looks set to bring his trademark intensity and brooding presence to the role. Valérie Donzelli will play the journalist who follows the mission. They will be supported by Louise Bourgoin and Reda Kateb, as well as a number of Belgian actors who work with the director on a regular basis, such as Stéphane Bissot (Our Children), Catherine Salée (Private Madness) and Yannick Rénier (Private Property [+see also:
As was the case for Our Children, Les Chevaliers Blancs is being produced by Jacques-Henri and Olivier Bronckart (Versus Production), Prime Time and Le Pacte, with Les Films du Worso as executive co-producer. In Belgium, the film has received backing from the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel, the VAF, Wallimage-Bruxellimage, Tax Shelter and Sofica-Soficinéma. It is also being co-produced by France 3 Cinéma and RTBF - Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Française. It will be sold by Indie Sales, and will be distributed in Belgium by O’Brother and in France by Le Pacte. The title should be released in cinemas during the second half of 2015 and could be aiming for selection at Cannes, as was the case for the two previous films by Lafosse.
(Translated from French)