Currently, TF1 offers its viewers to follow the mini-series “Les Combattantes”, every Monday from 9:10 p.m. Taking place in 1914, the fiction required a huge amount of work with regard to the sets. But where was this project shot?
Monday September 26, 2022, TF1 continues to broadcast female fighters, his new historical mini-series. In the casting of this prestigious fiction, viewers find Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou, Julie de Bona and Sofia Essaidiwho embody the heroines.
The story follows the crossed destinies of four women in September 1914, at the time of the First World War. Not far from the front and its bloody battles, these protagonists must solve personal problems, while participating in the fight against the Germans.
With a budget of 20 million euros, the project is divided into eight episodes (two parts are offered per evening) and required colossal human resources. Concerned about detail, the Combattantes teams have worked with determination to offer the public a great show, whether for example in terms of costumes or sets.
Magnificent filming locations
Moreover, if the action takes place in a small village in the east of France, where was the fiction really shot? It is between the Vosges, the Hauts-de-France and the Île-de-France that Les Combattantes was put in a box.
First of all, the exteriors were mostly captured in Les Vosges. Hervé Galletthe production designer, comments on this choice in the TF1 press kit: “This region offers magnificent nature, with varied vegetation, small mountains, relief and lakes.“
“The cities are also beautiful because in 1900, the SNCF took a wealthy population to the seaside resorts which became rich. There are still some very beautiful buildings from that time. In addition, this area was actually on the line of fire during the First World War.”
Between the Vosges, Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France
Hervé Gallet adds: “In Senones and Plombières-les-Bains, we shot the outside of the convent-hospital, the gendarmerie and the village. I laid out 90 tons of earth to hide the macadam! (…) On a period film, street furniture, very present, constantly pollutes the image. We have to hide doorbells, mailboxes, parking lines…”
“On the Place de Senones stood a monument to the dead more than 7 meters high that I masked under an 8-meter watchtower, continue the decorator. (…) And if in post-production, the digital effects erase the elements that you can’t touch, I try to hide as many of them as possible during the shooting.“
Concerning the convent-hospital of the series, this one is located… in two different places! As Hervé Gallet explains: “In Hauts-de-France, we shot the interiors of the convent/hospital. We settled in the Abbey of Valloires (Somme, editor’s note) and the Charterhouse of Neuville (Pas-de-Calais, editor’s note) (…).“
A convent in two different places
In The Voice of the North, Alexander Lawrencethe director, clarified:We did not find an existing abbey or convent bringing together everything we were looking for. This is why we opted for two places, which had the merit of being barely twenty kilometers apart..” Thus, the cloister and the rooms for taking care of the soldiers are in Valloires and the chapel and the dormitory are in the Chartreuse.
Finally, the brothel joined by Marguerite, the character of Audrey Fleurot, took place in a mansion enthroned in the village of Crèvecœur-en-Brie, 40 kilometers from Paris. Everything else was recreated in the studio. A titanic job!