“I wanted to make people feel physically what incest means”: in Lattes, Emmanuelle Béart carries her film and listens to victims

“I wanted to make people feel physically what incest means”: in Lattes, Emmanuelle Béart carries her film and listens to victims

At the end of the screening, many victims stood up to testify about the attacks they had suffered. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

Invited by the association "One Environmental Conscience", Emmanuelle Béart and Anastasia Mikova accompanied, on Wednesday, at the CGR de Lattes, the screening of their documentary on incest, "Un silence so noisy.

Broadcast on M6 last September, the shocking documentary on incest, "A silence so noisy", designed around four witnesses with the support of&rsquo ;Emmanuelle Béart, who revealed on this occasion that she had been abused by a member of her family between the age of 10 and the age of 14, has been the occasion, for seven months, of ;exchanges with the general public. Each time, it brings out new testimonies like Wednesday evening in Lattes (Hérault).

"A Silence So Loud", your documentary on incest, was released almost seven months ago, nearly two million French people saw it… what changed?

Emmanuelle Béart: I believe that it is part of it, and that’s why we did it too, in a movement of civil society who decided to take this word and carry it forward. It seems to us that with our documentary, we are part of this chain of speech and solidarity, after many others, after Camille Kouchner, after Christine Angot, before Neige Sinno.

He was indeed widely seen, he provoked many people to speak out, testimonies had a profound impact on us. That’s really what makes me deeply proud of the work we’ve done.

What happens in public screenings?

Anastasia Mikova: It's a totally different experience from the 'TV' experience. which allowed us to reach families, homes that would not go to see a film about incest. M6 had never broadcast a film on incest… What happens in the rooms is very different. It’s a collective experience, we’re with other people, we share something. In Marseille on Monday, the debate lasted almost two hours… it is not a debate, it is the floor open to other testimonies which go further than the film, and which sometimes complement it, or contradict it. We are really in an extension. People tell us: "I want to share something of my story, I want to go further, I know what you are talking about, what you have experienced"… It can only be experienced in the classroom and collectively. It’s very strong.

Emmanuelle Béart: I went to accompany this film to the Philippines and Canada, we are returning to Toronto. We are going to go to the United States and England. What's crazy is that the questions are very similar each time, people say each time that there is a problem with the functioning of justice…hellip; We are not in a Franco-French problem.

And for you, Emmanuelle Béart, who interacts with the witnesses of the film, what happened ?

E. B. : The writing of the documentary lasted a year, but we remain in something which is in movement, which challenges me, shatters me… This documentary is an idea that I have had in my head for a very long time without knowing whether it would be fiction or a documentary. The film was born from the meeting with Anastasia, we immediately got to work.

I knew where I was at that moment, with something still burning, and a form of distance due to my age, my background, life and life. family that I have built for myself. I think I was ready, even though there is a lot of emotion, but that’s life.

With the One environmental conscience association

The One Environmental Conscience association, born four years ago at Montpellier à the initiative of Muriel Calventus, organizes events and screenings of documentaries in the presence of directors, conferences, workshops on the theme ;me of environmental awareness. She works on three axes: personal development, 'root' peoples and people. and societal issues. Next meeting: the conference "Explore your intuition" with Laurent Gounelle, June 3, Fernand-Pelloutier room à Montpellier.

"Making people feel physically what incest means"

What happened with Anastasia Mikova?

E.B.: Because she made the documentary Woman, because I admired what she does. It was love at first sight! We were at a party, there were lots of people, I was supposed to meet two or three women who could help me, and when I saw Anastasia, we no longer met. left for the evening. At our second meeting, we were already writing the film. I told myself that Anastasia would give me the strength, the courage, and had the talent so that I could no longer go back.

A. M. : The form that the film took was not the one we had initially imagined, we didn't think we would both be in front of the camera. We had to be behind the camera. Obviously we thought about themes, we looked for witnesses, we spoke to hundreds of people before choosing these four stories. But what happened gradually was integrated into the story.

Throughout your five stories, there are a lot of words about incest, there is emotion, and sensations. It's all very violent but everything is said gently.

E. B. : We are not lawyers, we are not psychologists, psychiatrists… we wanted each of our witnesses to be able to follow through on their words, their thoughts, and tell us the after-effects.

I realized along the way that someone who had not experienced incest had difficulty hearing what it meant, the psychological and physical devastation that it causes. One of my obsessions was to ensure that this film could convey, physically feel, what incest means. This is not a film about settling scores. It’s a film where we say things, where we try to convey something. There is no anger.

This is almost antithetical to the work of Christine Angot, who has also just made a documentary, "Une famille" ?

A.M.: Not contradictory, complementary. She is in another energy…

E.B.: We are in another process. In our documentary, there are people who have violent reactions, Norma says that her grandmother slapped her, her mother is not in a kind of denial, but inability to see, Joaquim's wife says that as much as we want to support, we have difficulty knowing and understanding what that represents…hellip; But Christine Angot’s desire was really to break down the doors and meet those who were part of its history. It’s completely complementary. I often say to people who come to see me: "Continue the path and go see Christine Angot's film" because it is extremely powerful.

"Politicians are having trouble waking up but civil society is not going to give up"

And you are in line with testimonies, including that of Christine Angot, one of the first writers to tackle the subject…

E. B. : What did she get caught in the figure&hellip? The other day in Marseille, Eva Thomas, the first to speak, testified about the reactions to her visit to Apostrophe, in 1986.  They told her "let us live in peace" … Today there is an extremely strong chain of solidarity. And if politicians have trouble waking up, and that is the case, we have the impression that civil society is not going to let up.

A. M. : Eva Thomas said that people sent her letters so that she could read them anonymously. Today, people stand up in the rooms and no longer speak anonymously, it's a huge change, we no longer fall into oblivion and it's thanks to Eva Thomas, to Christine Angot…

E. B. : … the Ciivise…

You Emmanuelle Béart, have seen changes in behavior towards you since you testified that you were a victim of incest?< /p>

E. B. : There is a lot of kindness. What is catastrophic is the number of people who come to me in the street and say “Me too”, that's what impresses me the most, that's what I'm afraid of. is what is most shocking. We're talking about 10% of the population, I totally hear that.

There is a child, among your witnesses, it’was essential ?

E. B. : They are the first to be affected, it’s something that quickly became established.

A. M. : In our first discussions, I remember that Emmanuelle found it unbearable that we only see films that talk about incest with adults who talk , whose words are reduced to the strict minimum, and alongside, experts who re-explain what the person experienced with scholarly language as if people were not capable of going through with it. their thoughts.

Our society is hypocritical: they say that you shouldn't make children talk too much, don't push them around, but finally, what shakes things up the most is incest is violence.

E. B. : And the greatest violence is silence. It’s not about giving a child a voice, it’s about silencing them.

"We saw mothers who had tried to protect their children find themselves in the dock"

Among the experts, there is Judge Durand, who long chaired the Ciivise…

E. B. : It’s important, Judge Durand, because’ he is one of the first shocks when we meet ;is returned to the meetings of the Civic. We had imagined that the mothers of these abused children were in denial, kept silent… We saw mothers who had tried to protect their children and who found themselves in inextricable situations and in the dock.

The upheavals that the Civil Society is experiencing worry you?

A. M. : We are not directly linked to the Ciivise, but we have learned a lot of things thanks to the Ciivise. We met Pascale, one of the witnesses in the film, at a Ciivise meeting. It’s not nothing that happened: for the first time, the State said “We hear you, we believe you, we will listen to you and we will try to fundamentally change things based on what we understand from your testimonies. This is what happened for three years, and at the end, to do what ? The Ciivise issued more than precise recommendations, which correspond to the reality on the ground, ;rsquo;after everything we've heard.

Today, Judge Durand is no longer there, we do not know what will become of his recommendations, we have appointed new people who resigned after a few months after a scandal… and today, we do not know what this commission will become. All that for that! Emmanuelle often says it: “A child who doesn't speak is horrible. But a child who speaks and for whom nothing happens is even worse." Isn’t today even worse for all these former children who spoke to the Civics? That’s a real question.

Politicians are up to the task ?

A. M. : We were received by Charlotte Caubel, who told us that she was moved by the film. She was in charge of this file a few months ago but is no longer. We went on a TV set with the President of the National Assembly…

E. B. : What's crazy is that it’s a commission mandated by the President of the Republic… but the child speaks and we do not listen to him or we suspect him of lying, the protective mother or father finds themselves in the dock, the doctors condemned or disbarred by the order of doctors for in private life… all of this is just mind-blowing, scandalous.

"The Civil Society tells us that there are less than 3% of convictions"

And justice?

A. M. : In Marseille a magistrate told us that throughout his career, very few cases had not resulted in heavy sentences. The Civil Society tells us that there are less than 3% of convictions, and these are the figures from the Ministry of Justice… the numbers are there. We are in denial. There are 70% of classifications without follow-up.

For Joaquim, who we followed in the film, nothing has happened in two years. And since the film came out in September, nothing either. This is reality! Is it today the absolute urgency of the magistrates to address these issues?? This is not the feeling that the judge has. rsquo;we have when we see how long it takes.

Judge Durand said "Children will be better protected thanks to this film"…

A. M. : We know that thanks to this film, hundreds of people have at least dared to admit to themselves that they had suffered incest, which is already enormous. There are lots of people who recognized themselves in the stories. Pascale says it very well in the film: the first time she had “flash” was when she went to see “Les chatouilles” ;, the film by Andréa Bescond.

E. B. : People can tell themselves that they are not crazy, there was a real suspicion about traumatic memory.

What can you do, you ?

E. B. : What we had to do was the film, and our role is to continue to support it by hoping that institutions will be able to take hold of it. We will not change the law. We are part of this channel that speaks out.

Do you have any reactions from incest perpetrators?

A. M. : We had thought about a sequence in the film which would meet the attackers who had been convicted.

E. B. : It’was in Montpellier, with Mathieu Lacambre, a wonderful doctor.

A. M. : We had worked months and months in advance to put this in place, three authors had accepted. When we arrived, there was no one left.

E. B. : We also wanted to tackle restorative justice, it was very complicated.

"I have not experienced violence in the cinema industry"

You are both very committed women, how does this documentary fit into your journey ?

E.B.: As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't resemble my other commitments, it's more of an emergency and the necessity, I cannot compare it to my positions on the undocumented, or the homeless… it’s something else, much more intimate.

A. M. : I don't see it as a commitment, I've been working on human rights for more than ten years, and all my films talk about that. It’s a huge responsibility to hear from people who are entrusting you with things for the first time. Emmanuelle who comes to meet me, who confides in me her story and who tells me that she needs to do something with it when I was coming out of a pregnancy and that it was not my priority… it came into my life. We became very close to each of the people who testified. It’s not even a question of commitment anymore.

In a few days, Emmanuelle Béart, you will chair the jury of the Caméra d’or in Cannes, the word has also been loosened in the middle of cinema…

E. B. : It’is in all circles… I see what is happening in the hospital environment, sport… in cinema, there are things that had no place and which were extremely violent. I find it wonderful that Judith (Godrèche), or others, are speaking out about this. There are actors too. I am in solidarity with this word even if I have not experienced this violence. Perhaps because I had already experienced such violence, I was not easy to abuse.

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