Olivier Lorelle shooting Ciel rouge in Vietnam
by Fabien Lemercier
- The cast of the directorial feature debut by the screenwriter includes Cyril Descours and Audrey Giacomini; the film is staged by Mille et Une Productions
Only three films in the history of French cinema have tackled the topic of the First Indochina War (The 317th Platoon and Diên Biên Phu by Pierre Schoendoerffer, and Indochine by Régis Wargnier), an extremely deadly conflict lasting eight years, and the first war of independence that marked the beginning of the end of the French colonial empire. The directorial feature debut by screenwriter Olivier Lorelle, Ciel rouge (lit. “Red Sky”), recounts events from the soldiers’ point of view and delves to the heart of the contradictions of the war (a conflict between colonial forces stemming from the Resistance and doomed to defeat, and independence fighters, forced to act ruthlessly in order to win their human rights). According to Cineuropa’s sources, the cast of the movie, which has been shooting in Vietnam since 6 April, includes Cyril Descours (La ligne droite [+see also:
film profile], Madame Solario [+see also:
film profile]) and Audrey Giacomini (who rose to fame in Mr Nobody [+see also:
interview: Jaco Van Dormael
interview: Jaco Van Dormael
Written by Olivier Lorelle (who won the César Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2007 for Days of Glory [+see also:
interview: Jean Bréhat
interview: Rachid Bouchareb
film profile] and was nominated in 2012 for Best Adaptation with Omar Killed Me [+see also:
film profile]), the story is set in Indochina in 1948 and has two 20-year-old lead characters. Philippe, a sergeant at an outpost, cannot understand how his Viet Minh prisoner is able to read calmly when she knows that she is going to be executed as soon as night falls... She obsesses him to such a degree that he releases her. They flee together through the jungle, but the French are hot on their heels. Philippe is fascinated by Thi’s courage, while she is amazed by the freedom she has been granted by this Frenchman who was capable of deserting for her. They find respite and enjoy a brief romance on the shores of an idyllic lake... Then Thi persuades Philippe to go back to the war and join the Viet Minh to fight for the new world that will come after the victory... Over the course of a series of ordeals, they will each learn to do what fascinated them about the other. The film tells the story of their love.
Produced by Edouard Mauriat and Anne-Cécile Berthomeau for Mille et Une Productions, Ciel rouge is benefiting from an advance on receipts from the CNC. The four-week shoot will take place in the Ba Be Lake National Park and in Dong Van (Ha Giang province). Distribution in France will be handled by Jour2Fête.
(Translated from French)