Lucas Belvaux observed with IN US the functioning of a party that looks like two drops of water to the National Front, and wonders about the motivations of his electorate
The output of our HOME a few months before the presidential and legislative elections is fueling some controversy on the part of the elected nationalists. However, the director Lucas Belvaux, who wants to be the most committed activist, claimed the possibility of offering a space for debate with US. Be striking with passion about his subject, he makes it his mission to open the eyes of the viewer as citizen, as to the future elected nationalists, on how the National Front to win votes. Here, the party called the Rassemblement National Populaire – reference an alleged far-right party collaborationniste of the same name, which existed in France during the Second World War. And although the plot unfolds in the fictional town of Hénart, we can see a resemblance to Hénin-Beaumont, while there is no doubt as to the inspiration of the character of Agnes Dorgelle, the leader of the RNP, interpreted by Catherine Jacob.
The director decides to follow the journey of Pauline, nurse, liberal, chosen to be the head of the list of the Rassemblement National Populaire in municipal elections. Emilie Dequenne interprets brilliantly this courageous young woman, pouring. Attentive to his patients, she raises alone his children and takes care of her ailing father. It belongs to the category of little people who get up early in the morning, never complaining, working hard in this area of France which is experiencing store closures and unemployment.
The director provokes in the viewer empathy immediate for Pauline, because Emilie Dequenne “has given body and soul to the character of such a high density, without distancing or trial,“ as she said during our telephone interview. Almost too perfect, Pauline, however, has a flaw : her new boyfriend Stéphane (Guillaume Gouix), a former ultra-nationalist movement of the Block Patriotic – the name of the original party of the extreme right, before it becomes the RNP – still very active. It is here that the scenario of US wanders a bit, with a string a little too big. How to believe in this dual encounter concomitant between Stéphane and the worst of the party, and Agnes, and his new party that made a virginity ? One can well understand the interest of a narrative and demonstrative to show the historical links between the RNP, which “does not change objective, even if it changes strategy“, and the Block. But the director was pretty damn loaded the boat and it is almost an affront to the empathy of the spectator to ask him to believe that Pauline can also put a long time to see clearly.
The interest FOR US lies especially in the emancipation of Pauline, a woman under the influence, will learn to think for itself. She has no real political awareness, has not really the time to think and trust those around her. First, there is the influence of his father, a communist that she worships and who treats her rather badly (Pascal Descamps). Then the good old family doctor, Berthier, ex-member of the european parliament from the Bloc, who sighted it (fascinating André Dussolier) and the intimate knowledge of how infantilizing when she persists to speak formally, respectfully.
“It appears to US sounded like a boxer who has taken too many blows” Click To Tweet
There is also the influence of Nathalie, one of her best friends, a professor, that shows unabashedly and with a rare violence of its racist convictions. Anne Marivin excels in this role of an intelligent woman. A woman who is “left to overflow through a frustration that intimate in her relationship,” explained the actress in the interview. This is why she does not judge, but does not mean to love it. To give flesh to the character, she is also nourished by the actual viewing of interviews with former executives who have resigned from the National Front. And finally, there is the influence of cold, Agnès and his advisors, including his grey eminence mandarin (Michel Ferracci). The influence of the neophyte is made by the word, and Lucas Belvaux reminds with US that rhetoric is an art to the strong power of conviction, dangerous if evil spirits seize upon it. It spares us nothing of the elements of language used by the parties of the extreme-right, which leads ostensibly to the hatred and violence. Agnes Dorgelle harangue the crowds with a speech well-honed populist ” gradually won the hearts and minds “. She strafes of words and ideas the meeting of its activists in a trance, wake up their patriotic values and plays on their fears. Catherine Jacob succeeds the tour de force to embody the source of his inspiration, without ever emulate or parody.
To tackle such a subject, all of the actors are very much involved in the film, seeing it as an act citizen. And Anne Marivin, for which “participate in this kind of works is part of its role as actress citizen”. Emilie Dequenne, who is said to “have always a responsibility when it accepts a role”, is engaged in his character even more strongly than usual, because “Lucas Belvaux has tickled his conviction of a citizen and a woman”.
The use of new technologies and the strategic use of a semantic more democratically acceptable to call little protest on the part of Pauline, and always a plausible answer satisfactory in his mind. With a sense of detailed observation, which turns sometimes to the cliché, the director dresses up the context by inlaying in the background the tv or radio on all the time, which is beyond the words ” secularism “, ” Daesh “, ” communalism “, and even “invasion of new species ” ! In all cases, these are not the ideas of the other political parties are opening the eyes of Pauline, because in our HOME, no one comes to grapple with the RNP, and the arguments and blackmail against the father of communist party of Pauline are a lot more emotional.
It appears to US sounded like a boxer who has taken too many blows. It takes time to digest the almost too full of information of the mechanical insidious. Despite some flaws, our HOME is without a doubt a political film necessary, to the extent that it plunges the viewer into the heart of a system osteopathic manipulative well-honed, and allows him to weakening of the inner workings and understanding of the issues. It offers him the opportunity to ask questions and to awaken in him emotions that are sometimes contradictory, of which the dread is the most requested. But if US denounces alert, it does not, however, solutions. Remembering the first plan WITH US which opens on the empty city in the morning and the last plan which closes over it at night, we can’t unfortunately help but see an eternal cycle of renewal on which the man is desperately not.
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• Achievement : Lucas Belvaux
• Screenplay : Lucas Belvaux, Jerôme Leroy
• Main actors : Emilie Dequenne, André Dussolier, Catherine Jacob, Anne Marivin
• Release Date : February 22, 2017
• Duration : 1h58min