In “Jacky in the kingdom of girls”, Vincent Lacoste dreams of marrying the future dictator of his country, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. A dystopia where the roles are reversed signed Riad Sattouf, who was inspired by several references but also memories to create this universe.
Jacky in the kingdom of girls : Cinderella not like the others
After The Fine Kids, the author Riad Sattouf goes back to the realization with Jacky in the kingdom of girls. For this comedy released in 2014, the filmmaker uses elements evoked in one of the stories of his comic strip. Pascal brutal. It takes the viewer to the heart of the People’s Democratic Republic of Bubunne.
In this totalitarian regime ruled by General (Anemone), Jacky (Vincent Lacoste) is a young man who lives with his mother and performs domestic chores with dedication. But between two preparations of the porridge that the people share, the hero nourishes a dream.
While all the women in her village are considering making him their husband, Jacky hope to catch the eye of the Colonel (Charlotte Gainsbourg), daughter of General Bubunne XVI supposed to inherit power. For this, he will do everything to get his ticket for the Ball of the Great Bubunnerie. During this event, the future leader will have to choose her husband the Grand Couillon. An honorary title that would allow the young man to extricate himself from his monotonous daily life …
Valérie Bonneton, Michel Hazanavicius, William Lebghil, Didier Bourdon, Noémie Lvovsky and Anthony Sonigo complete the distribution of this absurd rereading of Cinderella. A film with which Riad Sattouf dismantles the patriarchal society and its capacity to produce countless stories ending in a marriage.
Two fundamental references
To build his dystopian universe where the roles are reversed, the director is based in particular on one of the references of the genre, the novel 1984 by George Orwell. Wanting to favor realistic sets, the filmmaker opts for a shoot in Georgia, a country marked by totalitarianism. Asked by the site Keeping to himself, Riad Sattouf explains on this subject in December 2013:
I wanted a certain truth, very realistic settings, with vestiges of communism and very beautiful landscapes around; kinds of incongruous urbanities resulting from totalitarianism. The film palace exists, it is located in Gori, Stalin’s birthplace, it is the central palace, built during the time of the USSR. And the stage of the ball was shot in the reception hall of the Georgian parliament. It is more complicated to invent sets and the reality is often more impressive.
The frame of Jacky in the kingdom of girls also follows that of Cinderella, symbol of patriarchy according to the filmmaker. The idea of the feature film is to point the finger at certain questions that the tale can provoke. Riad Sattouf adds, listing them:
Why is there only one Prince Charming, but plenty of girls around him? (…) Why does he choose the most submissive girl, when his half-sisters are more emancipated and rebellious?
A general observation
The desire to deconstruct the notion of virility comes from various personal observations of the director. During an interview with Huffpost, he tells :
I have a fascination with totalitarian regimes and it is often difficult to explain to someone who has not lived in a communist country. I spent my childhood in Syria watching girls, Italian or Spanish sub-Mad Max dubbed in Arabic with heroes who carry bananas and fight on motorcycles or cars.
Not wishing to target a religion or a country in particular, Riad Sattouf created the Republic of Bubunne to draw up a general observation. He has drawn from his memories to develop this fictitious nation and specifies as follows:
I wanted to talk about the patriarchy. For this reason, I invented a religion specific to Bubunne. For example, my Breton grandmother and my Syrian grandmother lived 8000 km from each other. And yet their lives were not that different: they stayed at home, made food, looked after the children… It had nothing to do with religion or culture! It is the patriarchy… (…) Beyond the domination of a religion for example, it is more the influence of communism – Syria was an ally of the USSR – that I retain.
Discover below a making of the film: