Laurent Cantet, best known for “The Class”, has a film about a teacher and his racially mixed students on the outskirts of Cannes 2008’s Palme d’Or-winning Paris, contemplating “exposing the cracks of French society in Arthur Rambo”. ”
The film, starring in the Platform section in Toronto and starring in the San Sebastian competition, is inspired by the true story of Mehdi Meklat, a young man who grew up in a French project on the outskirts of Paris and a star journalist and writer inspired by the French mainstream media and leftist intellectuals. But in 2017-2017, when McClat reached the pinnacle of his success, he was publicly shut down and his publisher dropped him after he published his disgusting tweets written under a pseudonym before becoming famous. The movie follows this anti-hero fall within the next 48 hours.
Raba Nait Ufela (“Raw”), who starred in “The Class” as a child, has made a groundbreaking performance as Karim de aka Arthur Rambo. The rest of the cast includes Antoine Reinertz (“BPM (Beats Per Minute))” and Sofian Khames (“Chouf”). Kent co-wrote the script with Fanny Bardino (“After Love”) and Samuel Dox (“The Prayer”).
Movie themes are universally relevant and highly sensitive because societies around the world are currently struggling to define the limits of online freedom of speech, especially when it comes to flirting with hate speech; And fight the so-called “cancellation” of public figures on social media. The problems with these hot-buttons take on a more dramatic dimension when applied to people of any ethnic group who are victims of systematic discrimination in France, even questioning whether there is a double standard in punishment.
“Arthur R. Rambo” is produced by Marie-Anz Luciani at Les Films de Pierre, Robin Campillo’s Cannes Grand Prize-winning “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” backstage, and co-produced by Alexandre Mallet (Guy in Memento Films Productions). Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero”) and France 2 movies. Referring to its contemporary resonance, the film already has Paris-based costume platforms in Canada (MK2 Mile End), Brazil (Vitrin Films), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Film 4U), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Israel (Lev Cinema), Benelux (cineart), Switzerland (filmcopy), Turkey (hero film), and Taiwan (Eve Jet).
Cantet chatted during the presentation of “Arthur’s Rambo” in San Sebastian Diversity Her interest in the story of Mehdi Meklat, as well as the sub-themes and social influences of her films.
The incident of Mehdi Meklat is very interesting and at the same time it is so complicated to talk about it without ending in a slippery slope. What makes you want to turn this story into a movie?
The true story that inspired this film brought a lot of questions to my mind. This young man, who was the author of an incredible article on the blog of Le Monde (big national newspaper) and whom I regularly listen to on France Inter (a top radio station), may be the same person who wrote these tweets – which of course I didn’t know and the scandal started I found out. I wondered, “How could he have all this sex in his head?” In fact his girlfriend asked him in this picture. This is the kind of schizophrenia that interests me. Not in the register of pathology, but in the case of social media, it seems to be a manifestation of general immaturity. I think young people like him, when they write their tweets, they often do it without thinking about them, and the internet has a silly memory.
Can you tell me the details
Being on the margins and being punk, it was extremely fruitful not to follow the general order, but today, people’s goal on social media is to make the most people happy, get the most popular likes and followers.
The film also depicts France as a fragmented society.
Yes, the film describes a social geography that is very divided. We can see that through the reaction of Karim’s younger brother. This is where we realize the weight of the words and the fact that we do not write them all in impunity.
Even if it only takes six seconds on a phone keyboard, the words are loaded and we often forget it when we want to respond first, or win the most provocative, or the best punchline.
This was certainly a very challenging part for Rabah Nait Ufela because he is not a particularly sympathetic character, and yet he needed to build some empathy.
I think Raba has pulled it off perfectly and found the right balance. It is not desirable but he is neither a monster nor a victim. He was able to understand the complexity of his character.
We’re not sure what Karim actually thinks and believes, whether he’s Arthur’s Rambo, or his civilized changing ego.
That’s what made me interested. I wanted to create a character who is mysterious enough in the eyes of the public, but also in his own eyes. I think he doesn’t understand what’s going on with him and the voice is deaf. The photo shows him meeting people in his office who ask him the same question, “Why on earth did you write these things?” And he has no answer. We show him to be gradually more aware; She goes through an internal journey, the last break of which is to her mentor, who trusted her and to her like a mother. She tells him, “Now, go to work.” That means “now is the time to think hard about the consequences of what you did and grew up with.”
So for you, when Karim writes about anti-Semitic tweets or celebration of terrorism, it’s just provocation and he doesn’t understand what he’s writing?
It comes down to provocation, which leads to a kind of extremism and simplicity. Everything is about slogans. There have always been and they have always led to extremism because in three words, it is impossible to deal with the complexity of a thoughtful speech. And also, these tweets are an expression of (their) anger, and social networks feed on anger, extremism and totalitarian thinking.
The film also raises the question of whether there is a double standard in approving a young man who has no power or dignity.
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Eric Jemur (a French journalist and the President is optimistic about his anti-Muslim rhetoric). He has been able to spread his hate speech in the mainstream media. When you are a young person whose parents are immigrants, they will be approved immediately.
But you have also shown in the Karim film that he has admitted his bias towards the Jews.
Because, in fact, it reflects the reality of the French project. I deal with it with a lot of caution because I don’t want to stigmatize these disadvantaged youth who are generally stereotyped in our popular culture. We should not put them all in the same kite that is defined by their homosexual opposition or their violence. This group is not more gay than the San Sebastian festival goers.
Don’t you think there is a problem of awareness that can be partially solved through education and transmission?
This is something that I firmly believe in and I hope the film contributes to that. I think if young people watch the film and reflect on their own practice, the film will not go in vain. I am very happy that the film distributor (Memento Distribution) is collaborating with schools in France to help teachers address these issues. I think films can sometimes touch on complex issues more subtly and intelligibly than sociology essays.