A TV movie set against the backdrop of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris has been “postponed” by national public broadcaster France 2 following an outcry from families of the victims. Titled Ce Soir-Là (That Night) the one-off drama would have been the first fictionalized account involving the massacre of 130 people across Paris, including 89 who died during an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the capital’s Bataclan venue that night.
In late November this year, Claire Peltier, the companion of one of those fatally shot in the attacks, started a Change.org petition which as of today has gained nearly 37K signatures. Peltier asked the Presdient of France 2’s holding company, France Télévisions, to renounce the project saying it was “too painful… out of respect for those who were lost and injured.” And added it would be in the best interests of France 2, “out of respect for the service of public television.” France 2’s turnabout today was national news.
France 2 released a statement this afternoon in response to the growing online sentiment against the TV movie, reminding that it had not set an air date for the drama. It added, “The film, which is still being edited, has not been seen by the channel’s management. France 2 has made the decision to postpone this project until the production has widely consulted all victims’ associations.”
The film is understood to have been centered on a (fictional) romance between a single mother and an Afghan man long-escaped from the Taliban who meet on the night of November 13 as they rescue survivors of the attacks. Sandrine Bonnaire and Simon Abkarian were to star. The production companies behind the project are Caminando Productions, and Endemol Shine France as co-producer. The film was in the midst of production when it was closed down today.
Fanny Rondeau, head of fiction at France 2, had previously told RTL that the idea behind the movie was “not to take head-on the attacks.” She told the outlet that the director, “went to see and consult many people.”
She also told RTL, “The idea is not at all to be a voyeur or anything like that, on the attacks, not at all… I think we mustn’t have taboos… It’s a way of talking about our world today.”
Deadline understands futher discussions are underway.