He burned his voter card: who is Xavier Beauvois, the controversial director…

Particularly disappointed with the defeat of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the director of “Of men and gods”, Xavier Beauvois, expressed his dismay by burning his electoral card.

He burned his voter card: who is xavier beauvois, the controversial director...
Guy Ferrandis

Despite a high score of 22%, Jean-Luc Mélenchon failed to qualify for the second round of the presidential election. A defeat which particularly irritated Xavier Beauvois, who firmly supported the leader of La France insoumise. Thus, to express his dissatisfaction, the director of Of men and gods filmed himself burning his electoral card, causing controversy.


Son of a pharmacy assistant father and a sewing teacher mother, Xavier Beauvois grew up in Auchel, in Pas-de-Calais. While in high school, he met the respected critic and filmmaker Jean Douchet via a conference. The latter gives him a chance to extricate himself from the working class environment to which he seems destined by inviting him to Paris and encouraging him to get involved in the cinema.

Beauvois would later state: “Cinema saved my life! It’s not even a job, it’s a passion. When I think of my childhood, where I come from, what I could have done there … It was not possible, I had to get out of there…”

The young man began as an assistant director with André Techiné on Les Innocents, and Manoel de Oliveira for Mon cas, before making his debut as a director with a short film, Le Matou (1986). He took the plunge into feature film three years later with Nord, where he evoked Pas-de-Calais through the disintegration of a family unable to communicate.

After a stay at the Villa Medici, a place of residence and work for artists under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, Xavier Beauvois directed in 1995 Don’t forget that you are going to die, a disenchanted and romantic chronicle of a student (played by himself) learning of his HIV status. The feature film, also including Roschdy Zem in the casting, earned him the Jean Vigo Prize and the Jury Prize at Cannes.

Actor on occasion, notably for Michel Deville (Aux petits bonheurs, 1994), Jacques Doillon (Ponette, 1996) and Philippe Garrel (Le Vent de la nuit, 1999), he signed According to Matthieu in 2001, with Benoît Magimel and Nathalie Bay. He then offers the latter one of the two main roles of the police drama Petit lieutenant (2005), that of Vaudieu, police commander and mentor of Jalil Lespert.

And, it is only natural that, when the latter made his first feature film (24 bars, 2007), he assigned him the small role of the boss of the peep show. Xavier Beauvois continues his career as an actor with renowned directors. Thus, we can see it in Jean-Paul Salome (Arsène Lupin, Women in the shadows and Chameleon) and Benoit Jacquot (Villa Amalia).

He burned his voter card: who is xavier beauvois, the controversial director...
March Cast

Lambert Wilson in “Of Gods and Men”


The year 2010 marks both a consecration and a decisive turning point in his career as a director. Indeed, five years after his last film, Xavier Beauvois returns to directing by presenting at the Cannes Film Festival men and godsin which Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale interpret the eminent members of the monks of Tibhirine, found assassinated in 1996 in Algeria.

A monumental success, both critical and commercial (more than 3 million admissions in France), the feature film won the Grand Jury Prize and the César for Best Film.

In parallel, the native of Auchel slips in 2011 into the skin of outstanding characters in L’Apollonide – memories of the brothel and Early in the morning (the sadistic boss of Jean Pierre Darroussin, it’s him !). The following year, he is the best friend of Jean-Paul Rouvé in the moving When I’m littlethen played neither more nor less than Louis XVI for Benoît Jacquot (Farewell to the Queen).

He also finds Roschdy Zem in his achievements Bodybuilder (2014) and Chocolate (2016). Note also its more or less significant benefits in Maryline by Guillaume Gallienne, The Secret of the Ice Floes by Marie Madinier, A beautiful inner sun by Claire Denis love is a party by Cédric Anger and Les Estivants by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.

In 2014, the director adapted a news item from the 1970s: two men stealing Charlie Chaplin’s coffin to demand a ransom from his family, in The Ransom of Glory led by Benoit Poelvoorde and Roschdy Zem. Three years later, he reunited with Nathalie Baye for Les Gardiennes, a drama about the daily life of women during the First World War.

Loving to vary the themes he deals with, Xavier Beauvois signs in 2020 Albatros, a drama led by Jérémie Renier taking place in the very cinematic coastal town of Etretat. The feature film, which follows a policeman whose life changes after accidentally killing a ruined farmer, has the honor of being presented in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.

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