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‘Novembre’s Cedric Jimenez & Jean Dujardin On “Powerful” Story Of Search For Terrorists – Cannes Studio

Cedric Jimenez & Jean Dujardin On 'Novembre' - Cannes Studio

Bac Nord director Cédric Jimenez reteamed with his La French star Jean Dujardin for Novembre, an out-of-competition Cannes premiere that unfolds in the aftermath of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks which left 130 people dead, most of them at a rock concert at the city’s Bataclan nightclub.

Eschewing depictions of the carnage, Novembre instead is a police procedural detailing the manhunt that followed in the next five days.

The anti-terrorist team is led by Fred (Dujardin) who, with Héloise (Sandrine Kiberlain) is charged with the impossible task of finding the people responsible for the shootings, using CCTV footage, in-person surveillance and phone wires to investigate a terror network with links to Brussels.

In his review, Deadline’s Damon Wise wrote that the film “reflects on lessons learned, giving credit where it’s due — finding terrorists in today’s world is near-impossible task, so the achievements the French made that week are incredible — but it also isn’t afraid to find fault, noting the injustices that can and do happen, ironically, in the pursuit of justice itself.”

Jimenez and Dujardin visited with Deadline at our Cannes Studio the day after the premiere which the former said came with “a special kind of emotion because in France of course these were events that were very traumatizing. They were very painful and it’s true that to do the red carpet for this film in Cannes, which is a very festive place, is something very particular because we want to come with a lot of humility given the subject, and at the same time we have to celebrate cinema.”

Jimenez had Dujardin in mind for the role of Fred and the Oscar-winning actor didn’t hesitate. “Cédric has a tendency to completely free his actors to do things in 360° and it’s true that everything is possible. So, we’re never bored, we have full days and we fully follow him. And then, with such a powerful story, he had the desire, the ambition, the maturity and the fact of having his cinema totally uninhibited — there aren’t really that many young filmmakers in France who have this audacity — so we go along with him willingly.”

Dujardin’s preparation involved meeting with members of special divisions including the anti-terrorist police “who have a capacity to work that’s unheard of. You try to detach yourself from the simple role of a cop and not really play that. You try especially to play the intentions, which is to say authority, doubt, sometimes anger, rigor — everything that makes up the nobility of their profession.”

Added Jimenez, “I found it really important to show that there were also these people who worked and fought in the shadows and who gave everything.”

Watch our video interview above.

Aero is the official sponsor of the Deadline Studio at Cannes Film Festival, sponsors are Soia & Kyo and Jamones Iberico from Spain: Ambassadors of Europe in the World

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