A damaged man on France 2: what is the TV movie worth on sexual violence against…

Tonight at 9:10 p.m., France 2 is broadcasting a powerful unit on the taboo subject of sexual violence suffered by a man. Through the drama experienced by Vincent, a lawyer and father victim of rape, the film explores the stages of deconstruction.

A damaged man on france 2: what is the tv movie worth on sexual violence against...
Benoit Linder/ Story Television/ FTV

What is it about ?

Business lawyer, happily married, father of two children, Vincent Ferrante is a man whose life resembles the one he had always dreamed of. A life of a strong and self-confident man that nothing could shake. And yet… All it took was a bad encounter with a falsely friendly stranger, the involuntary consumption of a so-called “rape” drug, to wake up one morning with bruises on your body and face and blood between your legs. . Vincent was raped.

Nothing will ever be the same again. Wounded in his body and his identity, Vincent drowns. He becomes a man in danger who will have to fight to regain his integrity and his scorned dignity. Who is he ? What husband can he still be, what father, what man? Faced with his family, his professional environment, the memory of his attacker, how to respond to what is expected of him?

A damaged manWednesday March 2 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2

Who is it with?

In the role of Vincent, father and accomplished lawyer, we find Yannick Choiratrecently seen in the film L’Etreinte by Ludovic Bergery and the series Laëtitia by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. Anne Marivin (Rebecca, Ten percent), embodies Chloé, his wife, while Jérémy Gillet (seen in Mytho and in the Belgian series Invisible on Netflix). Didier Flamand (Two Women), Léana Dubourg and Grégoire Monsaingeon complete the cast.

Well worth a look ?

What does it mean to be a man today, and how to redefine post-#MeToo manhood? From this starting point, screenwriter Pierre Linhart (Unfaithful, Games of Influence) explores the path taken by Vincent, a forty-year-old father at the height of his career, having ticked all the boxes of success and virility. .

Married, heterosexual, athletic and promoted to partner in the law firm where he works, making his collaborator and mentor (Didier Flamand) proud, Vincent is a model of masculine success. But it will have been enough of a bad meeting so that this surface shattered.

Consumed by this traumatic experience, Vincent, brought up the hard way by a father who wanted to make him “a man, a real one”, is unable to talk about the rape he suffered, and refuses to ask for help. This repression leads to a spiral of violence that will ricochet on his loved ones and isolate him a little more, until they reject him and he has no other choice but to face the event, which will make him question all the principles that have structured his life. From self-confident alpha male, he becomes a victim marked by shame.

Directed by Philippe Triboit (Un Village Français), the television film explores in 1h30 the point of view of a man meeting the criteria of traditional masculinity, forced to question the virile injunctions to which he submits despite himself after the tragedy he has suffered. lived. His wife and son, superbly interpreted by Anne Marivin and Jérémy Gillet, are on the other side of the barrier: they know that being vulnerable does not mean being weak, and that virility is not necessarily found where we believe it.
A damaged man on france 2: what is the tv movie worth on sexual violence against...

But how to make it understood to someone who has been told all his life that he must be strong, and that virility rhymes with impassivity, even in the most difficult trials? Driven by the modest and sensitive interpretation of Yannick Choirat, Un Homme abîmé does not avoid uncomfortable scenes, nor the impulsive and sometimes problematic reactions of Vincent when he tries to repress the drama, going so far as to explode with rage in the face of his son when he surprises him with make-up, or to commit an attempted sexual assault in turn on a stranger he met in a bar in order to prove to himself that he is still “a man”.

It is in this that his remarks seem so realistic: the character of Vincent is in no way embellished, and manages to question us about the injunctions to virility which hinders the speech of the victims, while underlining the importance of accompaniment of justice in their process of reconstruction and reparation.

Men may represent only a small proportion compared to the number of women who are victims of sexual assault each year in France (28% in 2021 according to a study by the Ministry responsible for equality between men and women), but this subject remains a taboo that must be seized in order to free speech.

Following the TV movie and to continue this reflection, France 2 devotes its second part of the evening to the broadcast of a documentary from Infrarouge magazine entitled “La virilité”, exploring through several testimonies why this, and the resulting expectations of society, perhaps is a heavy suit to wear.

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