Irish journalist challenges the film crew on the representation of the suburbs

During the press conference of the film “Bac Nord” in Cannes, an Irish journalist denounced the bad image given to the inhabitants of the suburbs, always represented “as animals” in the films or the French media

Based on a true story, the film “Bac Nord”, presented out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival, tells the descent into hell of a group of police officers in the northern districts of Marseille. It shows the excesses of the police on the side of the uniform and plunges the viewer into a case which ended with the condemnation of suspended sentences for eleven accused police officers.

If the film received a positive reception from festival-goers during its presentation on Monday evening, an Irish journalist from AFP wanted to make the film crew react to the political dimension of the film, during the press conference Tuesday. According to the journalist, who first specifies having appreciated the film, the director Cédric Jiménez draws up an overly caricatural version of the inhabitants of sensitive neighborhoods. “We are in an election year. I saw that with the eye of a stranger and I say to myself: maybe I’ll vote Le Pen after that, ”he said in front of the embarrassed laughter of the room.

Despite the laughter of the film crew who wonder about the meaning of the intervention, the journalist keeps his seriousness and continues his explanations by indicating “come from a city in Ireland”: “Maybe it is a joke for you … The question is, apart from the little boy who is in the car, the little wild beast who is in the police car, and who is calmed only by rap and all that, people from the cities are just… beasts, in fact, ”he continues.

“And it is a vision that we still have in the French media: the areas where we cannot pass, the areas outside civilization, the areas where it is necessary to reimpose French law,” he adds. “The film is great, but there is a problem there. We are in an election year. And I was embarrassed. Really embarrassed. And I was not the only one. “

On social networks, several Internet users have welcomed the journalist’s question, some accusing the film of “dehumanizing representation of city dwellers”.

“It’s an angle”

“I hope that Marine Le Pen will not pass thanks to me, that would piss me off”, replied the director Cédric Jiménez. “On the contrary, with the film I tried to actually tell about areas that have great difficulties. Who can appear genuinely hostile. But I don’t think we have to settle that with a radical vote like Marine Le Pen, not at all. “

The director defended himself: “then obviously the police are dealing with dealers, delinquents and not the entire population of the northern districts. It’s a point of view, it’s an angle. But I don’t think the film is there to denounce areas of lawlessness and to stir up anger, on the contrary. “

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