Anne-Marie (Muriel Robin) is a happy grandmother. Her daughter is very present, her son Stéphane (Guillaume Labbé), a widower, has found a companion, and she actively takes care of her grandchildren who adore her. Adrien, 6 years old, sometimes withdrawn or capricious, expresses a malaise. However, when the teacher reported the father to social services, Anne-Marie got carried away and defended him tooth and nail. But now suspicion creeps in, inexorably taunts her.
- Check out your TV program for tonight
Doesn't this gesture, this look, these absences in the bedroom or bathroom hide something? Wouldn't Stéphane repeat a behavior he suffered? Can she remain silent when her grandson is in danger?
" READ ALSO Audiences: what score for the documentary event of Emmanuelle Béart on incest?
No false suspense, it is incest that is discussed in Les Yeux grands fermés. With a very pedagogical approach, via the character of the teacher (Pauline Étienne, Le Bureau des légendes), trained to recognize and understand the profile, the attitude of the aggressors and their prey. But also and above all emotional.
The inner journey of this mother confronted with the unspeakable, her own son both victim and executioner, the guilt – she did not see or did not want to see – and the dilemma – to denounce him or not – that gnaw at her are heartbreaking. Muriel Robin lends him her natural empathy and strength, mixed with vulnerability, with a beautiful gravity.
The character of Stéphane was not easy to approach either. At the La Rochelle festival in mid-September, Guillaume Labbé told us how he approached it.
TV MAGAZINE. - Why did you choose to invest in this project?
Guillaume LABBÉ. - For two things. When I read the script, I closed it and said, "Ican't play this. I won't be able to find anything in the character that touches me, I won't be able to embody it." I understood that it was the first time I thought I wouldn't make it and it interested me. It was a personal challenge: even for the worse, I had to find a part of me that can embody this character with empathy. Second thing, the author's note of intent put the subject forward in a way that touched me, I wanted to defend her idea.
So you need to understand, or even defend your characters?
Yes, I have to understand how he got there. And to see what part of me, Guillaume, allows me to become this character. How can I manage to be that man, fireman or hitman.
"Speech is blocked"
What did you find in yourself that allowed you to become Stephane?
I have read the profiles of incestuous fathers, they are varied but have finally been little studied. There is the narcissistic pervert, the social pervert, someone who has been deficient... I looked for how my love for a child could overflow, how I could not realize that tenderness can become incest.
This TV movie is meant to be educational...
Yes, because we realize, when we are interested in the subject, the extent of the phenomenon and the fact that speech is blocked. A project on TF1 with a large audience must be didactic. When we make the victims, the entourage, speak, we discover that it is very rare that it is the family that alerts, it is 70% of the educators. Abusers who have been assaulted themselves account for a third of cases. Then, we must distinguish incest from an incestuous climate, not aggression but a porosity between the sexuality of parents and children.
Incest, rape, pedophile, they are mostly men. It works for me. Is it innate? Is this the space we have been allowed to take as humans?
Weren't you worried about playing such a "heavy" character?
After five pages, that's what I told myself, I wondered what it would stir in me. The hardest part was working with the young actors. I met them with their parents. Eden's mother told him everything, he is 9 years old, but I have never discussed it with him. The director gave him purely factual indications: "adds sadness"... There were some harsh scenes. It freaked me out because, we can say, it's the men who are assaulting. Incest, rape, pedophile, they are mostly men. It works for me. Is it innate? Is this the space we have been allowed to take as humans?
Do you have children?
Yes, two girls, and I came back thinking that I would never have them looked after by a man. It's epidermal. It's horrible but... Here, I try to put the figures into perspective...
Selfishly, I saw the job as the pleasure of living other lives, of having emotions to share with my partners. I don't feel like I'm a committed artist.
These subjects have been speaking to you for a long time because you were co-writer of A la folie, in which Marie Gillain plays a woman under the influence of a narcissistic pervert...
It was my co-author Éléonore Bauer, a friend, who led me to discover these themes. There we write about narcissistic perversion via a father. It is control over a child, it is even easier than on a woman to achieve her ends in this way.
Is it part of your conception of the profession to raise such serious issues?
Frankly not at all! Selfishly, I saw the job as the pleasure of living other lives, of having emotions to share with my partners. Then I realized that victims might recognize themselves, that I could help them, it's great. But I don't feel like I'm a committed artist.
How did you work with Muriel Robin?
She was also one of my reasons for accepting the project. When I arrived in reading at the production, we hugged each other, I who am not tactile at the base... We immediately got along in our silences, our way of seeing life, our depressions... It matched.
What are your depressions?
Our psychological terrain. Our view of society, of the world. Like me, she sometimes has trouble being in a group. You're pretty lonely when you don't know people. There is a lot of expectation when we shoot: being able to stay an hour without talking to each other without there being any embarrassment, that it remains fluid, it is not common.
NOTE THAT THIS TV MOVIE IS BROADCAST AS PART OF A SPECIAL EVENING PRESENTED BY HARRY ROSELMACK. IT WILL BE FOLLOWED BY THE DOCUMENTARY DON'T TELL ANYONE. THEIR FIGHT AGAINST INCEST.