The film “An intimate conviction” with Marina Foïs returns to the true story of the mysterious disappearance of Suzanne Viguier in February 2000. And especially to the trial of her husband, Jacques Viguier, the main suspect in the case. Among the key witnesses, Suzanne Viguier’s lover, Olivier Durandet, tried to have the film banned.
An intimate conviction: the Jacques Viguier trial
On February 6, 2019, the film An intimate conviction released in French cinemas. Directed by Antoine Rimbault, it looks back on the Suzanne Viguier affair, a news item that made headlines, nineteen years earlier in Toulouse.
A quick reminder of the facts:
On February 27, 2000, Suzanne Blanch, wife of Jacques Viguier, mysteriously disappeared. Quickly, suspicion fell on her husband after the accusations of Suzanne Viguier’s lover, Olivier Durandet, whom she has been dating since 1998. But after an investigation and nine months in prison, Jacques Viguier was released for lack of sufficient evidence.
After two trials, including one on appeal, he is definitively acquitted by the court of Albi March 20, 2010. He was defended during the latter by Éric Dupond-Moretti. Suzanne Viguier has never been found. And the mystery surrounding his disappearance remains intact.
In An intimate conviction, director Antoine Rimbault decided to include a fictional character, that of Nora, played by Marina Foïs. Convinced of the innocence of Jacques Viguier after having attended his trial, she will convince a tenor of the bar (camped by Olivier Gourmet) to defend him for his second appeal trial. Together, they will lead a fierce fight against injustice. But as the noose tightens around the one everyone is accusing, Nora’s quest for the truth turns into an obsession.
Olivier Durandet wanted to ban the film
Director Antoine Rimbault has endeavored to remain extremely faithful to the reality of the trial. He also chose not to change the names of the protagonists. In addition, we can also hear in the film real recordings from listening. In particular Olivier Durandet. An intrusion into private life that the latter did not support, and which led him to want to ban the film.
Thus, in February 2019, Olivier Durandet asked his lawyer to summon the producer and distributor of the film in court. He denounced a false portrait of his person and judged that the film was “constructed to demonstrate his guilt”. He also denounced that the tapping had been truncated in order to make him the culprit. In the assignment (via The Dispatch), the lawyer wrote:
The prejudice for Mr. Olivier Durandet is obvious since (…) he exposes it in an unfavorable light (…) Its main character, Marina Foïs who leads the investigation, affirms on several occasions that the culprit is the ‘lover. This film makes the lover the culprit. Listening is used to build a scenario. Does the viewer know that in this case, for the Albi appeal trial, 250 hours of listening were paid into the debate by the president of the assize court. In the film, we hear 8 minutes of these plays. And the rest ?
Finally, on February 22, 2019, the XVIIth chamber of the Paris tribunal de grande instance decided not to ban the film. According to The Parisien, Olivier Durandet claimed 50,000 euros in compensation per day of broadcast recorded.
The film’s distributor also sued Olivier Durandet for concealment of counterfeit. He had in fact produced in court two pirated copies ofAn intimate convictionone of which he had made himself by asking a bailiff to film in a movie theater.