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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Belgium / Luxembourg / France

Emmanuelle Devos and Daniel Auteuil starring in Joachim Lafosse’s Un silence

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- The Belgian director is reuniting two leading figures in French film for his tenth feature, steered by Stenola Productions

Emmanuelle Devos and Daniel Auteuil starring in Joachim Lafosse’s Un silence
Actress Emmanuelle Devos (© Georges Biard), actor Daniel Auteuil (© Thesupermat) and director Joachim Lafosse (© Kris DeWitte)

Filming wrapped several days ago on Joachim Lafosse’s tenth feature film, Un silence, which stars Emmanuelle Devos (recently seen in Mascarade [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicolas Bedos
film profile
]
, I Want to Talk About Duras [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claire Simon
film profile
]
and Deception [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arnaud Desplechin
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]
) and Daniel Auteuil (seen this year in Farewell, Mr. Haffmann and The New Toy) in lead roles, alongside a young actor making his screen debut, Matthieu Galoux.

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Since the early days of his career, Joachim Lafosse has crafted an intimate brand of cinema, notably scrutinising dysfunctional aspects of romantic or family circles and probing our flaws and contradictions. More so now than ever before, the intimate is political. We don’t know much about the story of Lafosse’s new movie, but the title does provide an answer as to the subject of the film. As the director confided to us: "The film mainly focuses on the idea of speaking out, which we talk about a lot these days. With Un silence, I want to try to show why silence is still so powerful, despite the important place given to this beneficial right. I want to try to show and explain why it’s so difficult to speak out."

Joachim Lafosse is notably returning to one of his earlier films, Private Lessons [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques-Henri Bronckart
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
, which was selected for Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in the whole other time of 2008. The film explored the ways in which an adult trapped a teen in a controlling and abusive situation. At the time, many people tended to judge victims before even thinking about judging perpetrators, in turn forcing the director into "a frightening silence": "this silence fed into my writing, I’ve been going over these issues for more than six years. Once again, I’ve drawn inspiration from a real event, as I was able to do with Loving Without Reason [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
(Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2012) and The White Knights [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
(in competition in San Sebastián 2015), but what I’m really interested in isn’t the event itself, but the way in which it sheds light on a reality we can all identify with. Speaking out always comes at a cost; those who talk are familiar with this fact. Christine Angot’s work is crucial in this regard. For 20 years and with wonderful and invaluable lucidity, she’s been describing the stakes involved in revealing a crime. We’ve also only recently learned that in a great many cases, when people speak out, it’s not the criminal who’s excluded from family or social circles, it’s the victim. What I wanted to do with Un silence was to tell an accurate story, with accurate characters, revolving around this incredibly complicated aspect of our existence."

In order to do so, Lafosse has once again joined forces with a large number of names from his usual artistic team, notably director of photography Jean-François Hensgens, who he’s collaborating with for the 7th time, and production designer Anna Falguères. The team came together on set for two weeks of rehearsals before filming, which allowed the actors to "get comfortable on set", so as to explore "the complexity of the characters and situations, to ensure they find the right nuance, to avoid any temptation towards Manicheism. To take the time to understand and to explain, because accuracy takes a long time."

As with his last film The Restless [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
, Lafosse’s first movie was selected in competition in Cannes after travelling once again to the Directors’ Fortnight with After Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
and to Giornate degli Autori - for the first time - with Keep Going [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
. Un silence is produced by Anton Iffland Stettner and Eva Kuperman on behalf of Stenola Productions (Belgium), by Jan Thiltges for Samsa Film (Luxembourg), and by Antonino Lombardo for Prime Time (Belgium). In terms of French production, the filmmaker is collaborating with Régine Vial and Alexis Dantec on behalf of Les Films du Losange, who distributed Lafosse’s earlier films. The firm will also be handling international sales and distribution in France of Un silence, which is set to be distributed by Cineart in Belgium and the Netherlands, and by Samsa Film in Luxembourg.

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(Translated from French)

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