Paris-based Le Pacte, which has four movies competing at Cannes, has boarded Lucas Belvaux’s “This Is Our Land (Chez nous),” a drama starring Emilie Dequenne as a small-town liberal nurse who ends up becoming the leader of a fictional far-right party in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais mining basin. Written by Belvaux and Jérôme Leroy, “Chez nous” is produced by David Frenkel at French outfit Synecdoche and Patrick Quinet at Belgian shingle Artémis Prods.
Dequenne (“Our Children”) stars opposite French stars Andre Dussollier (“Diplomacy”), Guillaume Gouix (“The Returned”) and Catherine Jacob.
Frenkel, who previously produced Claude Lanzmann’s “The Last of the Unjust,” said the film was eminently political and social as it will shed light on the inner workings of a far right party that tries to polish its image and rhetoric in order to broaden its base.
Belvaux (“The Law of the Weakest,” “38 Witnesses”) said “This Is Our Land” will give a “timely snapshot of today’s France where the (far-right) Front National party has gained grounds in the run-up to the presidential election.”
Indeed, the Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, is a front-runner is next year’s presidential election, according to early polls.
Although the main narrative thread of the film is fictional, most events depicted in the film happened in real life as the film is thoroughly documented, Belvaux said.
The political party in the film, Le Bloc, is inspired by the Front National. “It’s a populist, nationalist, anti-European and xenophobic; and it brings together people with different ideologies,” per Belvaux, who hopes the film will spark debate during the presidential race.
“Chez nous” has just started shooting and will wrap on July 4. Le Pacte will distribute the film in France in March and is handling international sales.