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Dutronc and Herzi are criminal accomplices in Joseph and the Girl

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Dutronc and Herzi are criminal accomplices in Joseph and the Girl

Tomorrow in French theatres, Haut et Court is releasing Xavier de Choudens’s second feature: Joseph and the Girl.

After his 2004 film Brothers [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, the director has tackled a thriller-love story starring a duo comprising charismatic 67-year-old actor Jacques Dutronc (Place Vendôme) and 23-year-old actress Hafsia Herzi (discovered in The Secret of the Grain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hafsia Herzi
film profile
]
– European Film Promotion Shooting Star 2009).The cast also includes Aurélien Recoing and Denis Menochet.

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Scripted by the director, the film centres on Joseph who has just spent 20 years in prison. Recently released, he has one sole obsession: preparing one final robbery.

To organise this master stroke, he needs an accomplice. Unable to trust anyone, he decides to initiate 20-year-old Julie. Turmoil arises between these two opposing characters…

Choudens explained: "I drew vague inspiration from Yasunari Kawabata’s short story House of the Sleeping Beauties: in Japan at the start of the 20th century, an old man under the influence of narcotics comes to fall asleep next to young women".

He continued: "I tried to adapt it, without success, but the idea of this somewhat forbidden love remained. I added to it the idea of a robbery with a man approaching death. I didn’t want to make a hold-up film: the thriller codes are there, but the film wasn’t supposed to be limited to that (…)”

“I sent Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey to Jacques Dutronc so he had an idea of what I was aiming for. What interested me in this film were the way silence is handled and the simplicity of the story: with just a main plot and a sub-plot, it keeps viewers in suspense. I wanted to do the same kind of thing: tell a love story in the broader context of a robbery under preparation. I took great care to represent the robbers in a truthful way. I don’t glorify this world of crooks; I show them as pathetic (which they fundamentally are), which runs counter to what we usually see in films."

Joseph and the Girl was produced by Christine Gozlan for Thelma Films and Pierre Forette and Thierry Wong for Cine Nomine. The film’s €3.73m budget included co-production support from France 2 Cinéma, pre-acquisitions from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma, and backing from A Plus Image, Sofica Coficup and Soficinéma 5. Films Distribution is handling international sales.

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(Translated from French)

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