At the microphone of France Inter, the director of Rodeo, Lola Quivoron, returned to the controversy that arose in Cannes at the time of the presentation of her film: “The controversy will quickly disappear, the film will stay”.
A few days before the release of Rodeoon September 7, the French director and screenwriter Lola Quivoron was the guest of France Inter. Among other topics, she was asked about the controversy that shook the presentation of her film at the Cannes Film Festival last May. A sentence spoken in an interview triggered torrents of reactions on social networks and is the subject of political recovery.
“[Cette phrase] does not reflect what I think. She was highlighted. She’s been twisted a bit all over the place, caricatured, a lot, and that’s just one side of the story, again. (…) I can understand that the sentence could have shocked. It is inscribed in a montage, in tense flow, continuously. There is almost an arrogance too because I am in Cannes. I’m talking about police brutality. It is also this staging that has created, I think, a lot of controversy.”
“After, I think the responsibility is shared, Konbini, certainly also my word, she continues. But there is still the adverb often that nuances the discourse. It is not because I point out this reality that I forget all those that exist, and in particular the one you have just mentioned. [à l’adresse de la journaliste Léa Salamé, Ndlr.]news items every two weeks.”
Léa Salamé also asked Lola Quivoron how she had experienced this controversy. “I want to come back to the cinema. I wrote a great text because, for me, very important. I took the time to write it precisely to take some distance. In fact, we cannot react like that to a controversy. We are obliged to take a little more time to gain distance, to be in thought. I wrote this text, and it really recontextualizes the controversy. I invite you to read it [il s’agit d’un texte relayé par nos confrères du Parisien en juillet dernier, Ndlr.] to really understand where it came from, and especially my point of view on it.”
Put back in the center that it’s cinema
“The news, the overload, the saturation of these news items in the news, linked to my film, tends to make the most important thing invisible: the cross bitumen is the backdrop of my film, it is not the subject of my film. It’s not the riders. What’s interesting is to put back in the center that it’s cinema, the fact that it’s mythology, it’s epic, it’s fiction , that it’s written, and above all it’s about a woman’s career. We don’t want to forget that. The controversy will quickly disappear, the film will stay.“
See the interview on France Inter full :
Below, we reproduce part of the text that Lola Quivoron evokes on France Inter, published on July 25 in Le Parisien / Today in France.
“I am a filmmaker. I am neither an investigative journalist nor a columnist nor a political figure. I’m not used to media exposure. What the controversy provoked at the Cannes Film Festival by my first feature film, Rodeo, teaches me is that every word spoken in the media engages an undeniable responsibility. From this, I can understand that the remarks about the police arbitrarily highlighted in Konbini’s video could have shocked. This sentence, taken out of context, generated a lot of misunderstanding and violence. Violence received by the police who felt targeted. Violence received by the families of victims caused by accidents on public roads. Violence that I myself received through daily salvos of insults. Sexist and racist messages and comments instrumentalizing my film have saturated the networks.
“It all started with this filmed interview and a retweet from the most popular account in the fachosphere, opportunely taken up by local and national elected officials in the midst of the election period, then by police unions, some of which are affiliated with the far right. My remarks were caricatured, overinterpreted, extrapolated over articles and TV sets by journalists, who themselves had not seen my film. In Konbini’s interview, the journalists ask me about cross-bitumen by erasing their questions. My phrase Accidents are often caused by cops chasing riders and pushing them to death, deliberately erected as a slogan, has been completely chopped up, sliced up and recomposed. This type of editing transforms the meaning and produces a speech in tense flow, without real deployment of arguments, making my speech superficial, brutal, and aggressive. There is no depth, no development, no thought. This is shock content.“
“I am not incriminating the police, I am only making a simple observation. Yes there are accidents, and I am not making generalizations by attributing them exclusively to the police. I only know that during these famous urban rodeos that everyone talks about, riders have been injured or have died while being chased by the police. The adverb of time often nuances the discourse. It is not because I specify this reality that I deny other types of accidents: collisions, mown pedestrians, tragic falls, etc. I spoke as an observer. The police error is not the subject that I elaborate in Rodeo. My film was quickly associated with urban rodeos, wild rodeos, terms that describe a marginal, dangerous practice that takes place on the public highway, in the midst of cars and pedestrians. But I don’t stage any urban rodeo. You don’t see any riders driving around town in my film, nor any chases with the police who never appear.“
Text to be found in full on the Parisian / Today in France website.
Rodeo by Lola Quivoron is released this Wednesday, September 7.
The pitch: Julia lives off little tricks and has an all-consuming, almost animal passion for motorcycling. One summer day, she meets a gang of cross-bitumen bikers and infiltrates this clandestine environment, made up mostly of young men. Before an accident weakens his position within the gang…