Leprince-Ringuet navigates the mines of Réfractaire
by Boyd van Hoeij
Young French actor Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet is currently filming the Luxembourg historical drama Réfractaire on location in the Grand Duchy. The upcoming talent debuted in Téchiné’s Strayed in 2003 and starred in two films presented at Cannes last year: Horse Thieves [+see also:
film profile] and Love Songs [+see also:
Réfractaire is directed, co-written and produced by local multi-hyphenate Nicolas Steil and tells the story of 20-year-old François (Leprince-Ringuet), a child from a difficult home who hides in the abandoned iron mines in the south of Luxembourg after the country has been annexed by Germany during WWII and all young Luxembourgians are forced to either go into hiding or fight for Germany at the Russian front.
“I have often wondered what I would have done if I had grown up during the war,” explains the director. “It is a lot more comfortable to imagine oneself as a war hero rather than a collaborator or even a war criminal. It is the kind of question you have to approach with a lot of humility.”
Réfractaire will be partly shot in the iron mines that are part of the Musée National des Mines de Fer Luxembourgeoises and partly on the studio sets of production designer Christina Schäffer. Shooting will continue through mid-May.
Leprince-Ringuet will be joined by several other young French acting talents, including Arthur Dupont and Guillaume Gouix (both from One to Another), Pierre Derenne (La Vie en Rose [+see also:
film profile]) and Yoann Denaive (Don’t Worry, I’m Fine). Several Luxembourg character actors round out the cast, including a trio already seen in the local box-office hit Little Secrets: Thierry Van Weverke, Luc Feit and André Jung.
Steil’s production outlet Iris Productions produces the feature. Other recent work includes Contact High from Austrian director Michael Glawogger and Swiss co-productions Luftbusiness from Dominique de Rivaz and Tausend Ozeane from Luki Frieden.
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