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One location - two films


- Paris is the chosen location for one film about the German Occupation and another about Napoleon's politics of slavery

This summer, the Ville Lumière has been transformed into an enormous film set and submerged by a wave of creative energy generated from the set of Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s first film since his 1995 The Horseman on the Roof. The director has pulled together a remarkable cast for his Bon voyage that is headed by an all-new slimline Gérard Depardieu as a ruthless politician whom “Le Monde” compared to Jacques Chirac. This film also heralds the “return” of French icon, Isabelle Adjani as Viviane, a character vaguely reminiscent of the femme fatale in Mireille Balin’s Pépé le moko. Bon voyage is the story of how thousands of Paris residents fled the city in the aftermath of the German occupation in June 1940.
Meanwhile another Gallic director, Christian Lara is also “setting up” on the outskirts of Paris for L’epopée de la Guadalupe. This is the story of Napoleon’s 1802 decision to re-establish slavery in the French Antilles and still today it continues to be one of the most widely-debated issues in French history. The film is going ahead despite the disappointment and delays caused when some of France’s most important producers turned the project down.
Lara was fortunate in crossing the path of independent producer, Alberto Pigot who has injected the set with enthusiasm and enabled Lara to shoot on location at the Malmaison, the beautiful villa built for Josephine. The hero of L’epopée de la Guadelupe is Colonel Delgres, played by a native actor from the Antilles called Luc Saint-Eloi, who sacrificed himself so as not to surrender to the troops of Napoleon’s emissary General Richepance.

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