Broadcast this evening on Canal +, the DNA film has very personal resonances with the life of its actress and director, Maïwenn.
As Rag boy by Nicolas Maury or Under the stars of Paris with Catherine Frot, theDNA de Maiwenn was one of these films “sacrificed” on the altar of the second confinement, decreed on October 28, 2020 by Emmanuel Macron. Released the same day, DNA therefore only had two very short days of operation in theaters before they were closed for 201 days in a row. When they reopened on May 19, 2021, the film found its way back to theaters, but its career was obviously truncated. A strange fate for a project which Maïwenn got down to after her producer Pascal Caucheteux advised her on a more modest and less expensive film than her ambitious feature film on Madame du Barry, on which she had been working since 2016. The old one Luc Besson’s companion therefore drew on her personal history to write and interpret a heroine who explores her heritage and her Algerian roots, upon the death of her grandfather.
Maïwenn devastated by the death of her grandfather
Because, if Maïwenn refuses to speak of autobiography, DNA was strongly influenced by her own relationship with her grandfather, who died in 2017. She does not hide that she had a very difficult time after his disappearance. “When my grandfather died, I was devastated. I couldn’t find any meaning in my life. Everything was going to change because I wanted to live under my grandfather’s gaze and it was no longer possible. found new meaning when I became interested in my origins and especially Algeria. I discovered that I had spent the whole first part of my life being interested in the people who had destroyed me rather than those who had built me. And after two years of introspection, I wanted to make a film of it “ she explained to our colleagues from Ouest France, in October 2020.
A completely truthful DNA test!
In addition to this strong relationship with this much-regretted grandfather, the film contains other very true elements, including the famous DNA test of the title. “Yes, that’s the one we see in the movie. It made me laugh doing it. I never thought I was Italian, Greek, Iberian… It’s amazing. I think it’s one of the readings possible to our identity. There is also the desire to belong to a country which takes the top. Me, I took the Algerian nationality by choice even if my DNA is only 15% North African “ she unveiled in May 2021 at Le Journal des Femmes. For the writing of the screenplay, she shared her memories of mourning with those of Mathieu Demy, the son of Agnès Varda who died in March 2019: “I had already written a first version, which he enriched with his reflections. We shared this subject of loss: how to deal with mourning from an emotional point of view, but also all the logistics that this implies and which is the funny part of the film The undertakers, the funeral directors, the nursing assistants, the schedules to be respected but also the choice of the coffin, the type of the ceremony, the people we invite , etc. We were laughing and crying, and we weren’t shy about showing our emotions to each other. His gaze was precious. “
DNA, a film to discover on Canal +