At the Séries Mania festival, Delphine Horvilleur questions the Bible as a scenario

The presence of a rabbi on the podium of a television series festival may be surprising, agreed at the outset Delphine Horvilleur, member of the Jewish Liberal Movement of France, invited Sunday, August 29 to hold a conference on the theme: “Is the Bible the best script for a series?” “

MAINTENANCE. Adam Price: “” In the name of the Father “is a series to understand religions”

“It is because of you scriptwriters, producers, that I am here today! “, launched one of the rare French rabbis in front of a cinema hall of the UGC of Lille, filled with visibly conquered festival-goers. Of Succession (from Jesse Armstrong) to In the name of the Father (Adam Price) passing by So be they (Bruno Nahon and Vincent Poymiro), we no longer count the series that probe the religious fact.

Differences between Bible and “scriptwriter’s bible”

Delphine Horvilleur first wondered what constituted a good scenario in the eyes of the creators of series to compare it to the Bible: “The absolute bestseller”. Already, a fiction has for beginning … ” the Bibleof the screenwriter “. This summary “Clear and precise of 15 pages maximum”, constitutes the backbone of the series. “My Bible is actually the exact opposite, she underlined under laughter of the room. The less clear and the longer it takes, the more likely you are to have millions of readers who will each want to interpret it. “

With a mischievous eye, she added having read that the cover page of the scriptwriters’ bible should be accompanied by the name of the series, the contact details of the creators, and the genre of fiction … “Crippling constraints …, she notes under new laughter. Especially since the peculiarity of the god of the Jews is to have neither name nor body and to be just as difficult to contact ” than the others.

Same search for the “complexity of the characters”

Regarding the genre, Delphine Horvilleur would situate the Bible rather in that of the “tragicomic”. She gives the example of Abraham, 99 years old, to whom God promises a son to then ask him to sacrifice him, then at the last moment to renounce him as if he had made him. ” a joke “, or even “the episode” of the exit from Egypt, where Moses turns his companions “For 40 years in Sinai”.

Fiction writers place a lot of importance on the main characters who must be “Endearing and complex”. “Difficult to be more complex than Moses”, she remarks, with a Jewish joke. “Moses stuttered. God therefore chose to represent him the one who had a speech problem ”, she specifies, also giving the example of Jacob, who “Embodies verticality and …limped “.

Stakes and risks of the interpretation of the texts

More seriously, the worlds of fiction and religion are mainly linked, according to her, by “A substantive question” : how will the source text be interpreted? “The Bible is dependent on its readers, as is a script placed in the hands of good or bad writers, directors, actors.. Like any scenario, the Bible depends on those who interpret it. “

CRITIQUE. The Séries Mania festival is also live online

It recalls a basic principle in the series: not to tell viewers everything, but to give the tools so that they can make their own interpretation. It is then important to think “This great other” too often you by the texts. “The great flaw in the biblical scenario lies in the eclipse of the feminine, and other alterities”, she emphasizes, returning to this ” translation mistake “ from “Adam’s rib, which put us women in a hell of a mess! “.

“The original script said that the woman was born not from the coast, but next to Adam, which would have argued for a tie.. It’s like a director who would not have understood the note of intent ”, she comments. “This is how an interpretation can change history! she concludes under approving eyes. The eclipse of the other haunts biblical scenarios and series: where is the woman, the woman’s body?This misunderstanding shapes history. It’s up to us to decide if we want to be a spectator or an actor of this misunderstanding! “

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