Competition | Update : 23.05.19 . 1:39 PM

Arnaud Desplechin delves deep into the human soul in Roubaix, une lumière (Oh Mercy!)

Picture of the movie Roubaix, une lumière ( Oh Mercy ! )

Picture of the movie Roubaix, une lumière ( Oh Mercy ! ) © Shanna Besson / Why Not Productions

In Roubaix, une lumière (Oh Mercy!), shown in Competition, the filmmaker is inspired by a documentary about the police station in the town of his birth to weave a carefully crafted fictional narrative, somewhere between a drama and a thriller, in which a cop duo are confronted with the humanity of two murderers.

May 2002. For several weeks, the documentary filmmaker Mosco Boucault has been filming the daily lives of police officers at the Roubaix police station, when two young women appear in front of his camera, suspected of having strangled a woman in her seventies. They gradually admit to having killed the old lady to cover up a burglary at her home.

 

Arnaud Desplechin describes his horror when, six years later, he discovered Roubaix, commissariat central, the result of that exploration of police mysteries, released after the conviction of the two lovers. At first he was gripped by the horror of the evil act committed by the young women, then by their humanity, which seeps through their confessions and abruptly blurs their image as cold criminals.

 

"For the first time, inside two criminals, I discovered sisters. These were wonderful roles to give to two actresses," says Arnaud Desplechin, who explores the boundaries of humanity in Roubaix, une lumière (Oh Mercy!) , his thirteenth feature film. The filmmaker explains that he reworked the raw material provided by the documentary to build a fictional account which stays close to reality and depicts the "soul's worst torments".

 

Competition01.05.2019 . 7:55 PM

ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE (OH MERCY!) by Arnaud DESPLECHIN - Extract 1

Roschdy Zem and Antoine Reinartz play the experienced commissaire Daoud and his young colleague Louis Coterelle respectively. The roles of the two accused were entrusted to Léa Seydoux and Sara Forestier by Arnaud Desplechin, who approached each of their testimonies to camera as "the purest poetry there is".

The script of the film, which was shot at Roubaix in seven weeks, was co-written with the director and screenwriter Léa Mysius with the aim of paying tribute "to the triviality of (their) words, or to their mystery". Two years after Les Fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael's Ghosts), the director is reconnecting with the town of his birth, from which he loves being inspired to "make up stories".

Competition01.05.2019 . 10:32 AM

ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE (OH MERCY!) by Arnaud DESPLECHIN - Extract 3

Written by Benoit Pavan

Share the page
OH MERCY !
In Competition – Feature Films

ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE

Arnaud DESPLECHIN

FRANCE - 2019

01:59

The same day

Competition Released on 22.05.19

Arnaud Desplechin delves deep into the human soul in Roubaix, une lumière (Oh Mercy!)

In Roubaix, une lumière (Oh Mercy!), shown in Competition, the filmmaker is inspired by a documentary about the police station in the town of his birth to weave a carefully crafted fictional narrative, somewhere between a drama and a thriller, in which a cop duo are confronted with the humanity of two murderers.

Separate addresses with a comma * * * Required fields
Competition22.05.19

Arnaud Desplechin delves deep into the human soul in Roubaix, une lumière (Oh Mercy!)

Separate addresses with a comma * * * Required fields
.

.

.