France pays a national tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo, legend of cinema, whose death, at 88, arouses great emotion. This tribute ceremony, both solemn and popular, will begin on Thursday, September 9, at 4:30 p.m., in the courtyard of the Invalides with a eulogy for the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron.
The actor’s family will be present, gathered around the coffin of the “Patriarch”, politicians, sportsmen and admirers. Nearly 1,000 people will be able to attend the tribute, provided with their health pass. For those who will not be able to enter, giant screens will be installed in the courtyard of the Invalides. And the French will be able to follow the special editions on television channels.
The doors of the Invalides will then open to all those who want to meditate in front of the coffin, from 7:30 p.m. An exceptional system that had already been put in place after the death of Jacques Chirac, in 2019, allowing thousands of people to say goodbye to the former president.
The funeral of Jean-Paul Belmondo will take place on Friday morning in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in the privacy of the family, according to the instructions of his son, Paul Belmondo.
Figurehead of the New Wave (Breathless, Pierrot le fou), before becoming box office champion in comedies and action films, he enchanted generations of French people over some 80 films, cinephiles or fans of spectacular stunts.
Belmondo was the last of the actors of the “Conservatoire gang”, of the rebellious students of the Conservatory of the 1950s who have disappeared in turn over the past four years: Jean Rochefort, Claude Rich, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Guy Bedos.
The actor had disappeared from the big screen for nearly fifteen years, after a stroke which left him after-effects, but he was still popular with the public thanks to the reruns of his films, and the celebrity press. who regularly gave his news. “He never complained about this stroke”, emphasized Antoine Duléry.
“A national treasure”, had praised the head of state at the beginning of the week. “He was the one who won hands down the palm of the public”. As of Wednesday evening, nearly 4.2 million viewers watched the professional on France 2. Same success Monday evening, where more than 6.5 million people watched one of his films offered by the channels.
The death of “Bébel” marks the end of an era of triumphant French cinema, electrified both by the audacity of the New Wave and by stars attracting millions of fans in theaters.