From our special correspondent in Angoulême
" Sequence closed to the press " was written in red letters on the press release from the Ministry of Culture. We defied the ban with the help of Dominique Besnehard, general delegate of the Francophone film festival of Angoulême (FFA) inaugurated with great pomp by the Prime Minister on Friday evening. He was closely followed by Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, who had not said a word during the opening ceremony. She made up for it this Saturday morning thanks to a series of visits to the Charente city. The first meeting was scheduled for 9:35 am in front of the newly renovated CGR cinema, l'Eperon, in the city center.
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“ Sorry, but you can't come in, ” the security guard told us firmly, but smiling. We allow ourselves to insist gently. “ Yes, it's because of the covid, but not only, ” she explains embarrassed. A few text messages sent to higher authorities opened the door for us. The Minister of Culture was already installed in the room decked out with state-of-the-art technology called " Ice ", understanding " Immersive cinema experience ", sound and light in majesty on the walls located to the left and right of the screen. “ Is it suitable for all types of films, ” asked Roselyne Bachelot, very interested. And after a few extracts from Top Gun and James Bond, from famous ballets and operas, the lady was delighted under her mask to exclaim: “ We couldn't see that on a tablet! ".
Then drive 100 meters from l'Eperon to the Espace Franquin to see the exhibition of photographs by Sébastien Cauchon: “ Isabelle Huppert, visa-free, Los Angeles-Toronto-Paris-Tokyo ”. The author makes Madam Minister laugh as she walks around the room. Marie-France Brière, second delegate of the FFA, recommends to Pascal, who runs the bookstore on site, that he be offered three books: a comic strip devoted to François Truffaut, a book on Maryline Monroe and of course an album on the ten years of the festival angoumoisin. " The book is very funny ", assures Marie-France Brière. In fact, Roselyne laughs while leafing through it: " Here, he (Dominique Besnehard, Editor's note) is with his ex-darling!" ". Beside her, Magali Debatte, the prefect of Charente, smiles in chorus. “ I put on my costume so that I could be identified despite the mask, ” she points out.
My grandmother was illiterate, for my mother reading was an important issue of social integrationRoselyne Bachelot
Pascal brings it back to serious subjects by evoking the “ fight of independent bookstores ”. The minister has a serious face: " There are books that came out at the time of confinement for birthdays, I am thinking in particular of the one on General de Gaulle who has perhaps lost some of his flavor ... also asks the question about the “culture pass” for young people which was experienced in the regions during the epidemic ”. Roselyne Bachelot gives the books to Didier, her bodyguard. Then tell the bookseller that she had gone to Seine-Saint-Denis in women's writing workshops. " My grandmother was illiterate, for my mother reading was an important issue of social integration ", she confided.
" It is not unpredictable, it is pleasant, simple and funny ", indicates Didier visibly in empathy with the one he must protect. 10:45 am: Meeting with the members of the film crew Eléonore signed by the French director of Lebanese origin Amro Hamzawi. " A sort of Bridget Jones à la française ", he explains. Its producer Michèle Halberstadt takes advantage of Roselyne Bachelot's coming to sound the alarm: “Jean Castex announced last night an aid to exhibitors but we never help publishers , it's a profession that is ignored, people don't know what it is. Operators have the right to life and death, we must make our profession known. Comprehensive, the minister nodded in approval. “ Where are your actors? She asked Amro Hamzawi. “ Do you really want to know?” He replied with a broad smile on his face. On the wrong train! ". Roselyne Bachelot tells her that the day before she saw the exhibition devoted to Lebanese artists in Angoulême. “ There are some very beautiful things,” she said. Coming here is the opportunity to take stock with the profession, I have been working there since July 7th. There are economic difficulties, the health crisis has been revealing of what is gnawing at the cinema, in particular the cultural practices of young people in the cinema. The festival is first and foremost a place of exchange and listening with professionals. "
Continue to eat popcorn at the movies
Sitting at a regulatory distance on the set installed in the room to discuss with Amro Hamzawi, Michèle Halberstadt and Madam the Prefect, the member of the government took the opportunity to remove her mask and breathe freely. “ I wouldn't sit next to a gentleman who doesn't wear it, ” she observed, looking for the signature of the design on the object in question. “ I only wear masks from contemporary artists. Or Mask of Art to match her often dark outfits compared to the pink she wore when she debated on television. Or as clear as this morning, the model signed by Agnès Thurnauer whose sales profits are intended for charities.
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" I sent a note to Jack Lang ", warns Roselyne Bachelot who accepts an interview for TV5 monde, partner of the FFA. Talks about wearing the obligatory mask in theaters and at concerts. Ensures that the public can eat popcorn during cinema showings, but put on their masks soon after. " The operators told me that they were making recipes on the confectionery ... ". Confesses that she ate the pastry for her breakfast. “ One thing I never do is full of fat! , she sighs like a kid who has done something stupid. I put jam on a croissant… I also ate the bread! ".
I don't eat meat, I think too much about animal suffering, that doesn't mean I'm a frenzied veganRoselyne Bachelot
After taking the time to greet a handful of elected Angouans, Roselyne Bachelot has lunch at the prefecture with Magali Debatte. Coronavirus requires, social distancing is required, a buffet has been set up. On the menu, a verrine of salmon with dill and avocado. The Minister will not touch the skewers of duck breast and melon: " I have given instructions to have fish, I do not eat meat, I think too much about animal suffering, that does not mean that I am a vegan frenzied. It is not known whether she was able to take a nap on the train that brought her back to Paris afterwards.