Opening 10 Nov 2022
Writing credits: Marc Blöbaum, Jan Braren, Stéphanie Kalfon, Antoine Leiris, Kilian Riedhof
Principal actors: Camélia Jordana, Pierre Deladonchamps, Anne Azoulay, Jonathan Failla, Yannick Choirat
More in love than when they first met and with only seventeen months of parenting under their belts, Hélène (Camélia Jordana) and Antoine Leiris (Pierre Deladonchamps) are young and cheerfully busy. As a journalist, Antoine can balance working at-home with shuttling their toddler Melvil (Zoé Iorio) to a day nursery and more. He and Melvil send Hélène off with a kiss as she and friend Bruno (Yannick Choirat) leave for the concert at Bataclan nightclub, waving from the balcony. Little do they know they are bidding “the love of my life” and “Mama” a final adieu. Initially, it is the text messages from their friends, and then confusing, varied news coverage – “Twitter says stay at home.” Disregardful, a desperate Antoine and friend (Thomas Mustin) race into the siren-ridden night, careening from one hospital to another. Hours later time is suspended when his sister (Christelle Cornil) answers the telephone – the look on her face shatters Antoine’s world.
Terrorists’ attack on Bataclan Theater on November 13, 2015, is the worst the Parisian capital experienced since WW II; 90 people die. “You will not have my hate!” a defiant Antoine, refusing to acquiesce to the killers, posts on social media three days later. “For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.” Thus igniting chatter worldwide, the media does what they do best sensationalizing his message: Le Mond carries it on the front page. Antoine struggles under the weight of fulltime parenting/meeting Melvil’s needs, while navigating unsought fame, burying “the love of my life,” and coping with nonstop grief.
Based on Leiris’ eponymous memoir, director Kilian Riedhof teamed with Marc Blöbaum, Jan Braren and Stéphanie Kalfon to produce this sensitive, sober screenplay. Caught squarely in the timeframe of Antoine’s real-time experience, audiences intuit the tempestuousness Antoine and family members feel. The casts’ nuanced, measured portrayals carry weight, emotiveness. Award-winning actor Pierre Deladonchamps’ mercurial yet studied performance restraint is expressionistically discerning, perceptive, and sensible. Stealing hearts as Leiris’ little boy is the demonstrative darling, Zoé Iorio (child coached by Nouma Bordj). Meinen Hass bekommt ihr nicht is a wholeheartedly dignified and inspirational reality check. (Marinell Haegelin)