For his second feature film entitled “Le Raid”, director Djamel Bensalah wanted to shoot in conditions as extreme as those experienced by the characters in the film. Except that unfortunately, some have almost left feathers there.
The raid : when Djamel is inspired by television
In 1999, Djamel Bensalah became known to the general public for the first time with The sky, the birds and…your mother! which reveals a little more the talent of Jamel Debbouze. For his second feature film named The raid, the director takes as a model a report he had followed on television when he was a teenager. Thus, it was the first Raid Gauloises that had taken place in New Zealand. The principle of the Raid Gauloises is simple: it’s an extreme endurance race taking place in the middle of nature. The director therefore decides to draw inspiration from it to make his comedy.
The raid follows four commuters, who, following an imbroglio, have to pretend to be top athletes and therefore participate in a raid in Patagonia, alongside an experienced hiker. The adventure turns out to be highly perilous.
In the cast, we find future talents such as Hélène de Fougerolles, Lorant Deutsch, Julien Courbey, Omar Sy or Axelle Laffont accompanied by experienced actors such as Roschdy Zem, Josiane Balasko, Gérard Jugnot, Mouss Diouf, Maurice Barthélémy, Yves Rénier or even Pascal Elbé.
We came close to drama
To stick as close as possible to the reality of The raidDjamel Bensalah took his team to the four corners of the world. It was in Venezuela that the irreparable almost happened. Indeed, as she said during her appearance on the show Everybody talks about it (presented by Thierry Ardisson), Hélène de Fougerolles was close to death:
There was a scene where you had to go under a huge sausage. We couldn’t see what was behind. We were told: “You appear on the other side, and there will be the camera”. Except that I dived and on the other side, it was still black. Besides, in Venezuela, I didn’t really know what was in the water. And then, at some point, I came back up, and a plastic tarp stuck over my face. I panicked, threw up all my air, and lost my sense of direction. The boys turned around and went back to the other side. And I was scared and scratched on the tarpaulin… It was terrible. I managed to find a hole and stuck my head out.
His chilling story is just one of the tragic anecdotes that have punctuated this production. Indeed, a year before the film’s release, production manager Patrick Lancelot and cinematographer Bernard Lutic killed themselves during photo shoots by helicopter…in Venezuela. This double disappearance had then suspended the project temporarily.