‘Blood and money’: the scam of the century inspires the human comedy of today’s France | Television

“Right now, fiction is the best way to tell how the world works. It is what captures reality or, at least, part of it.” So says the filmmaker Xavier Giannoli, son of famous French journalists. “If you look at the front pages of French newspapers, it is difficult to find a single aspect on which they agree. There are no longer facts, only opinions remain,” laments the director in Paris, where he presents blood and moneywhich is his first television series.

It was precisely the newspapers that made Giannoli aware of the so-called scam of the century that inspires his fiction, based on the book of the same name by journalist Fabrice Arfi. The scandal began in 2005, when the European Union implemented a carbon tax to fight global warming. The measure gave rise to an organized gang with members in various parts of the world to defraud between 10,000 and 20,000 million euros in the following years with VAT from shell companies.

What has been the great success of recent French fiction is a thriller financial and emotional that does not need bombast or explosions to build its sharp tension. In its first six chapters (already available on Filmin, which releases the other six on March 26), the foundations of a story of passions that go beyond greed are laid.

In the fiction conceived with Giannoli (which he has just adapted The lost illusions, based on Balzac’s text), a police officer with a solid moral code and tragic air played by Vincent Lindon investigates the case. He tirelessly tracks the unlikely union between a group of criminals from Belleville, the Parisian neighborhood built by immigration, and a millionaire addicted to gambling and risk.

Vincent Lindon, in the foreground, stars in ‘Blood and Money’.

blood and money investigates the controversial and gigantic scam. Although, as it is still a fiction, it constructs its own chronology of events and reinvents or merges some of its main characters to diagnose today’s Europe, sick with the most cynical of capitalisms.

To Balzac’s realism, Giannoli applies a pinch of Dostoevsky. “Fabrice Arfi is a journalist and in his book he compiles facts. To do this, he focuses on the characters. I preferred to focus on the shadows of the characters; I wanted to show how current times speak through them,” says the director, a great follower of Martin Scorsese’s narrative precepts.

His father, Paul Giannoli, who died during the filming of this series, was involuntarily responsible for his cinematic vocation. At the age of eight, during a dizzying boat trip from Corsica to Marseille, he took him to the small cinema on the boat to see Wild bull. Also through cinema she instilled a moral code in him. “His favorite movie was Fire cars. When those runners appeared who looked like angels fallen from heaven, he told me: ‘that’s the kind of man you have to look like,’ he remembers. The antagonists of blood and money They are the exact opposite of that reference. But Giannoli can’t help but be drawn to a type of characters “who are victims of themselves,” he says.

To show that corruption and base passions colonize all French strata, Niels Schneider interprets in blood and money to the rich young Attias, a role that Gaspard Ulliel began filming shortly before dying in a skiing accident in January 2022. Ramzy Bedia completes the main cast as Fitous, one of the swindlers who merges his street tricks with the financial tricks of Attias, to create these shell companies in the organic sector. The two embody that class conflict that the director knows so well. His father was a Corsican man made himself through journalism and his mother a daughter of Parisian high society.

a tragic hero

The person in charge of indirectly explaining to the viewer the scam that triggers the plots of blood and money is the most complex character, played by Vincent Lindon. The fictitious former director of the National Judicial Customs Service Simon Weynachter fiercely pursues this gang of criminals. He does it for himself too, to escape his personal chaos. While he deftly masters the complexities of this financial scheme, he is unable to help his drug-addicted daughter.

“As Simon’s reality reflects, no one controls or fails to control things. You can be the best in your career, the most powerful, the most moral, but there is nothing that allows you to avoid external aspects, such as the illness or pain of those close to you,” says Lindon, also in Paris.

The actor wanted to collaborate again with Giannoli, with whom he had already met in the film Appearance (2018), attracted by a story that contains in 12 chapters: “crime, money, love, taxes, ecology, drugs, the difficulty of being a father, and of being a son…”, he lists. The success he is reaping is just an extra that did not enter into Lindon’s calculations, although he extends a good streak in his career that began almost a decade ago. Starring The law of the market (2015), by Stéphane Brizé, gave him his first awards after more than 30 years in the profession: nothing less than the César and the award for best actor at the Cannes film festival. He has also allowed him to participate in other recent milestones of French cinema, such as Titanium y Fuego.

Since nothing is under our control, Lindon tries to enjoy himself along the way. “The law of the market It was a no-budget film that cost two euros and that we were going to shoot in less than two weeks with a camera smaller than my hand. I did it because I had nothing to lose. It is easier to cope with failure by doing something that you are at least passionate about than with something that bores you on top of that,” she defends.

Receive the television newsletter

All the news from channels and platforms, with interviews, news and analysis, in addition to the recommendations and criticisms of our journalists


to continue reading


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.