The film “Deux” will represent France at the Oscars 2021, a strong gesture

Sophie Dulac Distribution

Martine Chevallier and Barbara Sukowa, love-proof in “Two.”

CINEMA – A first victory. Released on screens last February, the film “Deux” by director Filippo Meneghetti was chosen to represent France at the Oscars 2021 at spring, as announced this Thursday, November 19 the National Center of Cinema and Animated Image.

Among the other shortlisted films were “Cute”By Maïmouna Doucouré,“ DNA ”by Maïwenn, and “Summer 85” by François Ozon. The choice fell to a committee on which notably sit the filmmakers Mati Diop and Olivier Nakache, as well as the Deputy Managing Director of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux and the new president of the Académie des César, Véronique Cayla.

The story of “Deux” is that of two women. One is called Madeleine. The other, Nina. Simple neighbors in the eyes of all, they love each other in secret. But, it can’t go on. The second urges the first to tell her children about it. This one tries, but does not succeed. This is without counting on an accident which will temporarily bury the process.

First feature film by the young Italian filmmaker starring Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier and Léa Drucker, he had won the hearts of certain festivals in France, including that of LGBTI film Darling-Chéris in Paris in November 2019.

Inspired by similar stories of which its author has witnessed and which deeply marked him, he wants, on the one hand, to pay homage to them, but also to deliver a strong message of self-acceptance. “The way we look at ourselves is nourished by society,” the filmmaker explained to us when the film was released. This results in a form of self-censorship. ”

Fill a gap

Even if they are not numerous, intrigues around a lesbian romance, there are some in the cinema: “La Favorite”, “Free Love”, “Portrait of the young girl on fire”, “Rafiki”, “Life Adèle ”… French-speaking films featuring women, the third age, much less. “Deux” intends to fill this gap.

Its director makes it a point of honor. “I make films on things that challenge me and enrage me,” says the latter. I think we live in a world obsessed with one definition of beauty and young bodies. I feel it is my responsibility to make honest images that represent reality. ”

More than a commitment, he describes his approach as political. What he wants is to “represent the world for what it is”, explains Filippo Meneghetti. Giving visibility to those who have little or no visibility and participating in the debate on issues of representation, such is its credo.

“It’s science fiction”

“At the end of a screening of the film, a woman came to see me, remembers the 30-something. She said to me: ‘This is science fiction. Women like that don’t exist. ‘”The spectator’s remark resonates with him. “It gives meaning to my approach”, he confides.

Proof that there is still a taboo on the subject, the film took a long time, a long time, before finding the precious sources of funding. “Six years”, concedes its director. A difficulty that falls on two of the elements of his project, the homosexuality of his characters and their age.

His tenacity put to the test, Filippo Meneghetti finally obtained assistance from the CNC, the Occitanie region and a co-production with Luxembourg and Belgium. The shooting, it only lasted 31 days. Upon release, “Deux” was screened in 80 theaters. The filmmaker congratulated himself: “I make films so that they can be seen”. The urgency to show our elders has sounded and will soon ring on the other side of the Atlantic.

See also on The HuffPost: Lena Waithe, the black lesbian actress who wants to change the way movies are made

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