France Télévisions pays tribute to Jean-Pierre Bacri, who died on January 18, 2021, at the age of 69. On the program: the unpublished documentary Like a family resemblance, broadcast this Friday, January 14 at 9:10 p.m. on France 3, but also films, to see or watch again on france.tv.
“Jean-Pierre Bacri was our dearest contemporary. Maybe because he was never happy for anything. Behind the caricature, we knew that he was a Frenchman par excellence, a man turned towards others, insensitive to flattery, ready for all anger when it was necessary to rise up against injustice and stupidity., said Gilles Lellouche, the narrator, as a preamble to the unpublished documentary, Like a family resemblance, than France 3 airs tonight (9:10 p.m.) in tribute to the actor.
Since his death, the French scene has lacked one of its most outstanding figures. First, because he was, whatever he sometimes says, a great actor. Then, because he was one of those who said things as they were, without ever hiding behind the clean and smooth varnish that serves as a parade for the vast majority of showbiz personalities. Like a family resemblance, in which Anne Alvaro, Pierre Arditi, Nathalie Baye, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Alain Chabat, Olivier Doran, Dominique Farrugia, Attica Guedj, Sam Karmann, Jean Michel Ribes, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, looks back on the person he was. No bombast, no pathos, no ridicule, no delivery of obscene secrets. Ninety minutes of returns on images interspersed with their testimonies, including his friend Sam Karman, with which Bacri had nevertheless signed a total pact. “If you really are my friend and you are asked to talk about me, don’t do it”, asked the deceased. “I’m doing it today, because he’s gone. That way it’s clear”, confesses the actor. And how well he did. Agnes Jaoui absent from the film, he is the one who talks about it with the greatest attention, with the greatest care.
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Like a family resemblance also looks back on his career. His childhood in Castiglione, Algeria. His arrival in France, with his parents. His adolescence in Cannes, of which he immediately saw the limits. His “climb” to Paris with 2000 francs in his pocket. Girls. The need to emancipate himself from the group to which his pied noir status had assigned him. His first small roles in works as little known as Thanatos Palace Hotel of James Thor, in 1979. His meeting with Roger Hanin, who will invite him to join his troupe and propel him, before the final break. His role as pimp in The Great Forgiveness (1982), by Alexandre Arcady, followed by Le Grand carnaval (1982) by Jean-Michel Ribes, finally accompanied by social recognition, interviews in which he plays the game but nevertheless begins to say things, like his repugnance to any idea of communitarianism which would also amount to confining him to a single type of role.
SEE ALSO – Excerpt from the film Le Grand pardon, with Jean-Pierre Bacri
Disregard for generalities
“We are never very far from bullshit with the roots”, he will say then. His contempt for generalities. His rejection of injustices and inequalities which soon turn into political commitment. Subway (1985), by Luc Besson, in which he composes the perfect archetype of the endearing curmudgeon. His meeting, finally, on the stage of theBirthday, by Harold Pinter, with Agnès Jaoui, with whom he immediately fell in love. For 25 years, the Jaoui / Bacri couple marked theater and cinema with inspired, ambitious and fruitful collaborations.
For them, but also, and perhaps above all, for French theater and cinema. Kitchen and outbuilding, the play: Molières for best comic play and author in 1992. tuxedo / No Smoking by Alain Resnais: César for best screenplay. A family resemblance, the film: César for best screenplay. We know the song: Césars for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. The taste of Others: César for Best Screenplay. Like an image: Screenplay prize at the Cannes Film Festival … Not to mention the César d’honneur for his entire career, awarded posthumously, in 2021.
In addition to the documentary, France Télévisions makes three films available to Internet users in which he plays very different roles: Chez Hortense, by Pascal Bonitzer, with Kristin Scott Thomas and Isabelle Carré (2012), Public place, by Agnès Jaoui, with Agnès Jaoui and Léa Drucker (2018) and Gently sloping summer, by Gérard Krawczyk, with Jacques Villeret and Pauline Lafont (1987).