L’hérétique: Didier Nion revisits Alain Bombard’s epic saga
by Fabien Lemercier
- Jérémie Lippmann has taken on the role of the biologist who crossed the Atlantic in an inflatable lifeboat in 1952. Filming co-ordinated by Les Productions Balthazar
Beginning in May, the shooting of the first fictional feature film from Didier Nion, L’hérétique, is ending of July with the French portion of the filming, which will also take place in Moroccofor a week in September. Discovered in 2004 whilst competing at Karlovy Vary with his documentary Dix-sept ans, the director’s cast includes Jérémie Lippmann (Les interdits [+see also:
film profile], Les mains vides) and Scot Jamie Sives, (first seen in 2002 in Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself [+see also:
film profile], and later seen in Game of Thrones, amongst others).
Written by Didier Nion with the support of Thomas Cheysson and Yves Nilly, the script is an adaptation of the book The Voyage of the Heretique by Alain Bombard (1924-2005). In 1952, the biologist decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone in a life boat, with no food or water. By taking this immense risk, he was hoping to demonstratethe various rules to follow to survive at sea, and thus showing the way for all future shipwrecked souls. His maiden voyage, a journey lasting 65 days, shows an extreme example of the solitary human condition, the triumph of the mind over the body and what gave him the will to carry on living: the ability to imagine, create, persevere, and love.
Produced by Jérome Dopffer for Les Productions Balthazar, L’hérétique is backed by the CNC ‘advance on earnings’ grant, the region of Brittany and Sofica Cinéventure. The twelve weeks of filming took place mainly in Brittany (off the coast of Glénan and l'Ile-Tudy) and the film was almost entirely filmed at sea. French theatrical release will be handled by Jour2Fête, while international sales are managed by Films Distribution.
Other films from Les Productions Balthazar include Naissance des pieuvres [+see also:
film profile] by Céline Sciamma, La permission de minuit by Delphine Gleize and La reine des pommes [+see also:
film profile] by Valérie Donzelli. They also co-produced La belle jeunesse and Rêve et silence by Spaniard Jaime Rosales, as well as Hors les murs [+see also:
interview: David Lambert
film profile] from Belgian David Lambert, amongst others. In post-production, the company is currently working on Ma revolution [+see also:
film profile] (J’ai dégagé Ben Ali) by Ramzi Ben Sliman (article) and La femme de la plaque argentine [+see also:
film profile], a French film by Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (with Tahar Rahim, Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet and Constance Rousseau in the cast).
(Translated from French)