Corruption and manipulation in Valette’s Une affaire d'Etat
by Fabien Lemercier
23/10/2008 - Final preparations are underway before shooting kicks off on October 27 in Paris on Eric Valette’s political thriller Une affaire d'Etat (“An Affair of State”). Having first attracted attention in 2003 with his fantasy film Maléfique (“Evil”), the director went on to make two US titles (One Missed Call and Hybrid).
Valette’s new French production stars André Dussollier (currently on screens in Le crime est notre affaire [trailer]), Rachida Brakni (Best Female Newcomer Cesar for Chaos in 2002) and Thierry Frémont (Emmy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for Dans la tête du tueur). The cast also features Christine Boisson, Eric Savin, Gérald Laroche, Serge Hazanavicius (I’ve Loved You So Long [trailer]), Elogie Navarre, Jean-Marie Winling and Denis Podalydès.
Adapted by Alexandre Charlot and Franck Magnier (who co-wrote Welcome to the Sticks [trailer]) from Dominique Manotti’s detective novel Nos fantastiques années fric (“Our Fantastic Years of Cash”), Une affaire d'Etat traces the misadventures of a young police officer (Brakni) who finds herself at the centre of a state affair. There is an attempt to manipulate her, but she resists.
The film – which avoids moralising – looks at political corruption, the corridors of power and police infighting against the backdrop of the international arms trade. "I try to find the black core that exists within everyone": this is how Manotti defines her writing style, which she admits is influenced by James Ellroy.
Produced by Eric Névé, Alexandra Swenden and Adrien Maigne for Les Chauve-Souris, Une affaire d'Etat has a budget of around €5.2m. This includes co-production support from Studio 37, €400,000 in backing from the Ile-de-France region and pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.
Shooting will last seven weeks in Paris. Mars Distribution will release the film domestically (in the second half of 2009) and Kinology are handling international sales.
(Translated from French)