On the occasion of the release of “November” by Cédric Jimenez (“Bac Nord”), here are five things to know about this shock film with Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jérémie Renier and Lyna Khoudri.
With Jean Dujardin, Anais Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain…
What is it about ? A dive into the heart of Anti-Terrorism during the 5 days of investigation that followed the attacks of November 13.
Birth of the project
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A year and a half after the night of November 13, Olivier Demangel sought to write a scenario centered on the attacks, and this without re-enacting them, nor ensuring that the real victims and the real terrorists are represented on the screen. It was a book that gave him the click. The screenwriter recalls:
“This night during which society and Paris almost fell into chaos and how the firefighters, hospital staff, those of the SAMU, the police or even the magistrates managed to take over to maintain the cohesion and coherence of the city, the country.”
“I wanted to tell what public service is today. This service which is subject to so much criticism and which is nevertheless the foundation of society. Who protects us during such an event? Who works when we Are we afraid? More than the shock, I wanted to work on the shock wave.”
“It was while reflecting on these questions that I discovered what had happened at the SDAT during those five days.”
Cedric Jimenez convinced!
After writing a first script, Olivier Demangel and the co-producer Mathias Rubin asked Cédric Jimenez to direct. The filmmaker, originally reluctant to make a film on this subject, was however seduced by the angle of the screenplay, which is not centered on the attacks themselves but on the five days that followed. He specifies :
“Beyond the shock, the police investigation represented a titanic job, and in terms of responsibilities, the tension was incredible for this service. The script speaks of that. I put myself in the shoes of the investigators and wondered how I would react to the obligation of result and the fear of a disaster if this same result is not at the rendezvous.
Cédric Jimenez filmed the attacks offscreen (they are almost absent from the film). The question of representing them never arose for the director: “I would have found it obscene, truly obscene… If I had read the slightest effect to that effect, I would never have made the film.”
“What I liked was that it was the opposite point of view. We didn’t stage the attacks or the victims. The only time the film does it is in the hospital, but it’s “It’s only from the perspective of the investigation. And it’s part of the framework, trying to be as modest as possible.”
For the sake of authenticity, Cédric Jimenez met some of the police officers involved in the investigation of the November 13 attacks. The director remembers: “As it is a service that is excessively secret, there is no documentation that exists. But I could not have invented everything that characterizes it. It would have been absurd.”
“Olivier Demangel had already asked for their help. He was the one who introduced them to me. I transcribed their gestures, the way these units work… regarding the operation, the organizational chart and the way they operate is true.”
Inspired by real investigators
All of the November characters, apart from the terrorists whose names we know, were invented. Cédric Jimenez says: “In real life, they are protected and live under another identity. Because when we work for anti-terrorism, we face particularly serious threats. So, in the film, we protect them also what we can recognize from them. But they are all inspired by real people.”
“Just like the witness. Her name is not hers. With the elements of the film, often true, we took care to make them up enough to protect them. It was obviously necessary not to reveal what could be prejudicial for this service and for the judicial investigation.”