Olympiques ! La France des Jeux (Olympics! The French Games): the Olympic Games at the Festival de Cannes

They are aged between 20 and 100, have experienced the games, or will soon: Olympiques ! La France des Jeux follows the journey of top-level French athletes who have come to reap the highest of rewards. Mickaël Gamrasni’s documentary, presented at Cannes Classics, revisits the history of the Olympic Games as well as that of 27 Olympic and Paralympic champions, gathering medal-winning accounts through the ages, narrated by actress Marion Cotillard.

The documentary opens with the unforgettable achievements of Marie-José Perec at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, followed by stirring images of pole vault champion Jean Galfione, boxer Brahim Asloum, fencer Laura Flessel, gymnast Emilie Le Pennec, and the swimmer Laure Manaudou: magic moments caught on film which have delighted spectators since 1900, when the modern era games were celebrated for the first time in Paris.

“Higher, stronger, faster”: the competition pulsates to the motto of the games’ reformer, Pierre de Coubertin, like a scene constantly replayed over a century: in 1900, 1924 and 2024 as far as Paris is concerned. Olympiques ! La France des Jeux is studded with moving accounts such as that of the 100-year-old cyclist, Charles Coste, Olympic champion at the 1948 London games, who shows his gold medal in a presentation case, not on the end of a ribbon.

Christine « Kiki » Caron, Sasha Zhoya, Félicia Ballanger, boxer Sarah Ourahmoune, handball player Nikola Karabatic … so many “normal people which something happened to” as the Olympic pole vault champion Jean Galfione sums it up. Snapshots of athletes whose names are inscribed on the pantheon of French sport.

Sports personalities and athletes will be guests at a special evening screening of the film. Tony Estanguet, Marie-José Pérec, Thierry Rey, Iliana Rupert, Marie Patouillet, Nélia Barbosa, Alexis Hanquiquant, Christine Caron and Brahim Asloum will surround Arnaud Assoumani (Paralympic para-athletics champion) who will carry the Olympic flame on the red carpet.