In 2018, the film “En Guerre” puts us in front of a brutal and dramatic social reality. The director and his actors only needed a very short period of time to complete the shoot.
Closer to reality
After several films, Stéphane Brizé becomes one of the spokespersons of French social cinema. The director brings social struggles to the screen plays in France in several collaborations with Vincent Lindon. To start with The law of the marketreleased in 2015, then In war three years later. And the very recent Another world. Films close to the documentary genre with an important human dimension.
With In warthe filmmaker bears witness to the anger of a people. Men and women trying to save their jobs following the closure of the Perrin factory. 1,100 people find themselves out of work, and their spokesperson Laurent Amédéo (played by Vincent Lindon) protests against management’s decision. A committed film that shows the true face of a struggle, and the deep violence that results from these real situations.
In order to better describe this reality, Stéphane Brizé wants to shoot his film in the most realistic way possible. Thus, the director films his favorite actor and the hundreds of non-professional actors chosen for the occasion under the conditions of the social conflict of which the feature film speaks. Vincent Lindon testifies for 20 minutes :
At one point in the film, there is a picket before the CRS charge at 6 am, Stéphane filmed us for six hours at night. We lit braziers, ate hot dogs, some played the guitar. In the long run, we had forgotten that we were being filmed.
The actor particularly liked this very inspiring atmosphere for his character.
I loved this shoot for its incredible moments of rapprochement and fraternity. There was no Vincent, it was the canteen all together, we all changed in the same big room, and then when they talked to each other, I listened… I looted them, but everything what I took from them was to give them back, to them and to the film.
In a few days, the shooting of In war is closed. Only 23 days are enough for Stéphane Brizé to collect sufficient images to feature film. A tight timing, which required the film crew to work hard. But this shooting is in the image of the work. No frills. As the filmmaker says to the press :
It’s actually very short for a film like this that features a lot of people. But I wanted the energy of filming to echo the energy of the fight that employees can wage in a case like the one described in the film. It is, in both cases, a race against time, a permanent fight against time. No comfort, no respite, just a struggle to snatch the essentials.
He also admits the lack of means. 4.4 million euros is the budget of In war.
At the same time, I hardly had the financial means to do otherwise. Because where the reality of cinema meets the reality of the world is that the market does not demand this type of film. Yet they must exist. Even more than ever.