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THE LAST MITTERAND
aka LE PROMENEUR DU CHAMP DE MARS
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Michel Bouquet, Jalil Lespert, Philippe Fretun, Anne Cantineau, Sarah Grappin, Catherine Salviat, Jean-Claude Frissung, Philippe Lemercier, Serge Kribus, Jean-Claude Bourbault, Gregoire Oestermann, Philippe Lehembre, Istvan Van Heuverzwyn, Remy Darcy, Beatrice Bruno, Genevieve Casile, Gisele Casadesus
Director: Robert Guediguian
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 116 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains mild language
UK Release Date: 29 July 2005
A few words... Quelques mots...
François Mitterrand embodied the possibility of socialism in France at the very time when socialism was collapsing around the world. Whether he meant to or not — whatever the share of conviction and personal ambition that went into his destiny — Mitterrand made the socialist dream credible for a decade. I lived through that decade obstinately.
To raise the question again today of an alternative to globalized capitalism through an historical character thus seems to me perfectly in keeping with the leftist political commitment that has informed my work until now, that is, using the cinema to deal with the problems of our time.
THE LAST MITTERRAND is a fiction film freely based on Georges-Marc Benamou's book 'Le Dernier Mitterrand'. The book provided the artistic shape of the story by its construction and interpretation of the facts it related. It allowed me to freely develop the character of the young journalist, with whom I could identify opposite a character by definition more restricted by historical fact. Most of all, the book contained the sense of a "countdown" imposed by illness and the imminence of death.
THE LAST MITTERRAND is entirely contained in the conversation-relationship between this young man in search of certainties and this old man filled with terror at his own coming demise.
Furthermore, I have long toyed with the idea of wandering off the beaten track. Not that I feel the least uneasiness or obstacle about doing so but... out of curiosity... I needed to take on a challenge equal to this curiosity, to go down a very different path. It was Frank Le Wita who offered me this film, along with Michel Bouquet. And although the film is a fiction about François Mitterrand, it is also a testament to the art of Michel Bouquet.
- Robert Guediguian
This film dramatizes the last years of a political leadership and a private life: that of François Mitterrand.
As the President engages in his final battle with illness, a dedicated young journalist tries to extract from him some universal lessons on politics and history, love and literature... Certainties about life.
But the old man hardly has any to give because for him, this is the moment when all time — past, present and future — blends into one; the time when only doubt remains, the time when all men are equal: the moment of the nearness of death.