Agathe Riedinger cuts the countless facets of reality TV in Wild Diamond

WILD DIAMOND © Silex Films

A new face in French cinema opens the 2024 Competition: Agathe Riedinger, director of Wild Diamond. In her first feature film, she shares her fascination and fears surrounding the extremely complex and contemporary topic of reality TV.

“I’m going to be the French Kim K.” Liane is 19 years old and looks to reality TV to escape a stifling future in the south of France. She fits the profile – with the physique and the personality – then one day, a phone call turns her life upside down; she is invited to audition for “Miracle Island”.

Reality TV has been a key theme of reflection for Agathe Riedinger over the years. Fascinated by these daily programmes and the social media of their contestants, she is equally alarmed by the values for which they can often be vehicles, such as violence, the hyper-sexualisation of women and rape culture.

In 2017, she began to explore this domain with Waiting for Jupiter, a short film in which the character Liane was first introduced. A window into the director’s pictorial universe, the film intertwined classic references with extreme modernity as if to underscore the women’s timeless trajectories – destined for social extraction like 20th century “cocottes”.

Over the following seven years, Agathe Riedinger shaped Wild Diamond, a contemporary lens through which the most complex facets of reality TV – an often snubbed reflection of society – are revealed. In this film, the director highlights the many ways in which her heroine is viewed. The character seeks social revenge against class discrimination, guided above all by the pursuit of love and social mobility based on appearance.