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Martyrs, frightening fare from France


The Extra section of the Rome Film Festival screened the French/Canadian co-production Martyrs [+see also:
film profile
yesterday evening as torrential rain and loud thunder haunted the Eternal City, creating the perfect backdrop for a shocking horror story.

The second film of director Pascal Laugier (House of Voices) piles on the blood and gore in a revenge story that, quite unusually, casts two women as the protagonists. Fresh faces Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoi, both in Rome, headline the film.

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In the early 1970s, 10-year-old Lucie is abducted. Several months later, she is found again, though the reasons behind her kidnapping remain unclear. In the hospital, she befriends another young girl, Anna. Flash-forward to 15 years later, when a knock on the door of an apparently ordinary family sets in motion a revenge plot.

The extreme level of violence in the film is justified according to the director, “because it was the most honest way to tell the story. Martyrs is about those who have suffered and those who take revenge and make other suffers in return. We don’t know anymore who is good or bad, who is the martyr and who is the other. I also wanted to explore if there is anything beyond violence, after the violence ends”.

The film is a co-production involving Eskwad, Wild Bunch Production and TCB Film. Financial backing was provided by Canal +, Canal Horizons, Ciné Cinéma and MEDIA.

Martyrs is sold internationally by Wild Bunch, who also distributed the film in France last month. It will be released in Italy courtesy of Videa, through Warner Bros Italy.

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