COMPETITION – The warm colours of Abdellatif Kechiche

Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos © AFP

An adaptation of the comic strip Bleu est une couleur chaude, Blue is the warmest colour (La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitre 1 & 2) is the fifth feature film by the Franco-Tunisian director, and the first to be selected in Cannes. It tells the story of a passionate love affair between two young women from different social circumstances, played by Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.

In four films, Abdellatif Kechiche has made a name for himself as one of the most talented French film makers, in a naturalistic and humanist vein: long shot sequences and group scenes where the dialogue appears to be improvised depict the daily life of a community, and particular attention is paid to the actors and especially the actresses – he discovered Sara Forestier and Hafsia Herzi.

Although certain themes, such as immigration and social differences, are woven through all his films, the Franco-Tunisian director completely changes the universe of each film: from an emigrant without papers, between struggles and solidarity in Paris (Blame it on Voltaire (La Faute à Voltaire), 2000), to youth from an economically underprivileged suburb who are rehearsing a play by Marivaux (Games of Love and Chance (L’Esquive), 2004), to an elderly labourer from the shipyards who begins a new career in restoration (The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le Mulet), 2007), to the Hottentot Venus, who died in Paris in 1815 after a tragic destiny (Black Venus (Vénus noire), 2010).

Adèle Exarchopulos and Léa Seydoux. Photo from the film © RR.

Blue is the warmest colour, his fifth film, is for the first time drawn from a pre-existing work. It is actually a very free adaptation of the comic strip entitled Le Bleu est une couleur chaude by Julie Maroh (2010), a love story between a young woman and an adolescent who wants to become a school teacher.


Even when devastated by heartbreak, Adèle does everything she can to achieve her professional goal. Like all the characters of Kechiche, Adèle is a fighter, strong and brave. The French title of the film is La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitre 1 & 2, because there could be other episodes in the life of Adèle. “I would really like to have Adèle tell me the rest of the story,” says the director.

Béatrice de Mondenard


Thursday 23 May / Grand Théâtre Lumière / 11:30 am – 10 pm
Friday 24 May / Salle du Soixantième / 2:15 pm
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