Nine people shut up in complete secrecy for a secret operation.
You will not believe what they are going to do
"The Translators" is a well-made and entertaining French thriller based on the covert operation behind Dan Brown's international translations.
In an interview, the film's director explains why he decided to dedicate a film to the black workers of the cultural world
Avner Shavit, Paris
Sunday, 05 December 2021, 00:00
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Trailer for the movie "The Translators" (New Movie)
At the beginning of the previous decade, 11 people had gathered in a secure facility and under complete secrecy went into operation. They did not build a nuclear bomb, decipher a secret code, or serve as a jury in a sensitive murder trial, but were translators into various languages that translated Dan Brown's Inferno, and the publisher sealed them so the book could be published worldwide without leaks or Spoilers.
French director Regis Ronzar encountered this story while touring the world with his first and beloved film, "Popular," which was also commercially distributed in Israel at the time, and decided to base his new film, "The Translators," which aired this weekend. Of course the filmmaker has dramatized the real happenings, so he turns out to have a mole inside the translation bunker, and starts a race against the clock to stop the leaker.
We all consume the work of translators on a weekly and even daily basis, but few cherish or even know those behind it.
How many of us watched the "Squid Game"?
How many know who translated it from Korean?
"The Translators" is a well-made and enjoyable thriller, and above all is a rare salute to the artisans left behind the scenes.
"I like to tell stories about people who are usually far from the spotlight, and translators are messengers who are important to me personally," the director says in an interview at the Paris Hotel ahead of the film's release.
"As a child, I did not read at all, and then I met a librarian who recommended that I read American literature, translated from English to French, and 'fell in love' with the work of a particular translator, whose work has become an important part of my life. Translators are bridges between cultures."
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Olga Korlinko in "The Translators" (Photo: New Cinema)
Did you meet translators to work on the film?
"Yes, I met the French translator of 'Harry Potter'. He had to reinvent the names of all the characters and of all the places. It's a piece of work! What does it look like? Translations are sometimes like spyware - you do not have a picture in the head of the writer you are translating, and sometimes everything is done in such secrecy that you meet the publisher in a cafe and give him a file of the translation. "
What surprised you the most?
"On the one hand, translators have a lot of love and passion for the profession. On the other hand, sometimes some of them develop a hatred for the writer they are translating, and there's something a little funny about it. On the other side of the scale, I was very sad to hear about economic troubles in this world. "Not every translation is on a similar level of difficulty. Sometimes you have to work on translation for months, days and nights, and yet you do not get a bonus. Most translators work extra work as well."
Do you go through the translations of your films?
"Yeah, and it's amusing. I remember in one of my dialogues, the character says 'my cabbage,' which is a French way of expressing affection. In America, translate it to 'my pumpkin,' because that's what they say in English. It's nice that each language has its own way of conveying it. emotion".
Director Regis Ronzar (left) while filming "The Translators" (Photo: New Cinema)
In contrast to the original story, the film has 11 but nine translators from around the world, and is played by
an international team: the French Lambert Wilson, the Ukrainian Olga Korilenko, the Spanish Eduardo Noriega, the Danish Sidsa Babet Knudsen and many others.
"I chose the nationalities according to the popularity of the translation languages, but also according to the quality of the actors I could find in the different countries," says the director.
What was the biggest challenge in working on the film?
"To direct actors and actresses who have different mother tongues. It was like the Tower of Babel, but it did not fall apart. There was a good atmosphere, and now everyone speaks French better."