TF1 invites its viewers to follow Les Combattantes, its new major period mini-series. In this fiction, we follow the fate of four very courageous heroines during the First World War… But did they exist?
This Monday, September 19, 2022 from 9:10 p.m., TF1 is launching the broadcast of its prestigious mini series The Fighters. An unmissable event at the start of the year, the eight-episode fiction film is produced by Alexander Lawrence (The Charity Bazaar) and written by Cecile Lorne and Camille Treiner. Here, viewers discover four heroines evolving in September 1914, during the First World War. The clashes are bloody near a village in eastern France where these women meet by pure chance…
Marguerite, a prostitute suspected of being a spy, is played by Audrey Fleurot (HPI). Caroline, a wife replacing her husband at short notice who has gone to the front at the head of their company, is played by Sofia Essaidi. Julie de Bona lends her features to Agnès, the mother superior of a convent transformed into a military hospital. Finally, Suzanne, embodied by Camille Louis a nurse on the run accused of murder…
“Les Combattantes” highlights women who have worked for France
Strong, independent and modern, these characters pay homage to those left behind at the time but without whom France could never have won this horrible and long battle. Besides, are Marguerite, Caroline, Agnès and Suzanne protagonists who really existed?
In an interview granted to TF1, Cécile Lorne, one of the two authors, reveals that if the latter did not precisely exist, they are nonetheless inspired by the reality of our History. The idea of writing the mini series germinated in the mind of the screenwriter “after seeing a documentary on women during the First World War to which a history professor at the University of Avignon, Françoise Thébaud, had contributed [consultante sur Les Combattantes, ndlr].”
An often forgotten part of our history
“What particularly interested mecontinues Cécile Lorne, it was to see the war from the point of view of the women present on the front lines, and not of those who were waiting for their men to go to fight, as is usually the case..”
“(…) By taking a closer look at this period, I discovered an episode of the 14 war more or less passed over in silence: certain women, who had become paramedics, went to look for the soldiers on the front to help them, she remembers. This historical fact offered me interesting material to tell the weight of women in this conflict in a romantic way. In addition, it lent itself well to the universe of a series: it was necessary to explain how they first had to find taxis, then convince the army, recruit female drivers… I also saw the opportunity to talk about war medicine.”
Four extraordinary destinies
From this starting point, Cécile Lorne explains how her four Combattantes were born: “I had three female figures in mind and I knew exactly where I wanted to take them. Given my plot, the character of the nurse was a natural fit; as for the good sister, she was connected with the hospital. I also wanted to show that prostitutes were fighters in their own way because they did ‘slaughter’ on the front.”
Finally, a fourth profile naturally appeared during the writing process: “That of a captain of industry. I wanted each heroine to be emblematic of a possible struggle for women at that time and for the war to reveal something in them. They will save soldiers but also save themselves and resolve internal conflicts that prevent them from advancing.“, concludes Cécile Lorne.