It was in the trenches of eastern France during the First World War that Un Certain Regard began with the screening of the film by Mathieu Vadepied Tirailleurs. The story of a Senegalese father and son thrown into the hell of fighting thousands of miles from home. Like hundreds of thousands of Africans, young Thierno (Alassane Diong) was captured in his village in 1917 to serve alongside the French. His father (Omar Sy, who plays in Fulani, a West African language) enlists to watch over him. After Rachid Bouchareb in Indigènes (which took place during the Second World War), Mathieu Vadepied films, hand-held camera, the crushed destiny of these men torn from their native land to fight on the front line, in a cold and unknown region, in the French uniform. “We don’t have the same memory but we have the same story”, commented the star actor of Lupine on Netflix, Omar Sy, also co-producer of the film, in presentation of this opening night. #Cannes2022 The crew of the film “Les Tirailleurs” received an ovation. The work asks this question: what place have we made of these soldiers in our memory? pic.twitter.com/W0FTidHfGF — Cédric Cousseau FTV (@CedricCousseau) May 18, 2022 Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, confided that Tirailleurs had arrived “quite late in the selection”: “there are films like that which become obvious”. Beyond the din and the horror of war, Vadepied puts the tormented relationship of a father and his son at the center of his film. Faced with Bakary who just wants to bring his boy home alive, Thierno, galvanized by military ambition, threatens to escape him. The so-called “Senegalese” skirmishers (in fact from all over Africa) went up to the front alongside the soldiers from France. Of the 200,000 who fought, 30,000 died on the battlefields of the Great War. “The figures vary according to the sources”, recalls the press kit of the film, and “rare are the books, and even less the films, which retrace their history”. This military corps was disbanded in 1960. Ready for the launch of the Un Certain Regard Selection? Rendez-vous with the forgotten heroes of the First World War from the opening film Tirailleurs, by Mathieu Vadepied at 7:30 p.m. in the Debussy room with @OmarSy, Alassane Diong and Jonas Bloquet. #Cannes2022 pic.twitter.com/LFYDE250MT — Cannes Film Festival (@Festival_Cannes) May 18, 2022 The Un Certain Regard selection presents nineteen films including, for the first time at Cannes, a Pakistani feature film.
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