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Kilian Riedhof Explores Grief With ‘You Will Not Have My Hate’


In Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera “Orpheus and Eurydice,” Orpheus should journey to the underworld to reunite along with his lifeless spouse, Eurydice. To take action, he should placate the Furies, the goddesses of vengeance, and maintain onto his love for his spouse.

German director Kilian Riedhof had the opera in thoughts when adapting Antoine Leiris’ autobiographical e-book “You Will Not Have My Hate.” The movie world premieres on Aug. 12 in Piazza Grande on the Locarno Film Festival.

The e-book relies on Leiris’ experiences following the homicide by Islamic State jihadists of his spouse, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, on Nov. 13, 2015, on the Bataclan night-club — one in every of 130 folks killed that night in a string of terrorist assaults throughout Paris.

The movie begins on that fateful day with Hélène getting ready meals for his or her toddler, Melvil, and the couple discussing a vacation in Corsica that they needed to abandon so Hélène might choose up some freelance work. Later Hélène leaves with a pal, Bruno, for the Bataclan.

We comply with journalist and writer Leiris, performed by Pierre Deladonchamps, as he learns of the assault on the membership, and his mounting sense of dread after he hears from Bruno that Hélène had been injured. Leiris and his brother set off on a frantic tour of hospitals in search of Hélène, however ultimately uncover that she didn’t survive.

Three days later, after seeing his spouse’s physique within the morgue, Leiris posts an open letter on Fb. In shifting phrases, he addresses the assassins and denies “the lifeless souls” his hatred – and that of his son. He writes: “On Friday evening, you stole the lifetime of an distinctive being, the love of my life, the mom of my son, however you’ll not have my hate.” The submit goes viral, triggering a wave of empathy worldwide, and is printed on the entrance web page of Paris newspaper Le Monde. Leiris turns into a widely known media commentator, however — at house — he struggles to return to phrases with the lack of his spouse and to manage as a single father or mother.

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“You Will Not Have My Hate”
Courtesy of Komplizen Movie

Riedhof solely met Leiris twice earlier than making the movie. The primary time they met — within the firm of producer Janine Jackowski — was about “attending to know one another and gaining belief,” Riedhof says. The rights to his story had been coveted worldwide, however Leiris wasn’t certain if he needed it to be tailored. The truth that each the director and producer had been Germans was seen as a bonus as they may view occasions from a distance, Riedhof says.

“For me, assembly Antoine was one of the emotional moments in my work as a director. As a result of I knew that we weren’t speaking about merely a novel, however about Antoine’s future, which had run its course lower than 24 months in the past,” Riedhof says. After the assembly, Leiris agreed to the movie.

Riedhof met with Leiris once more six months later, within the firm of co-screenwriters Marc Blöbaum and Jan Braren. They requested him concerning the particulars of his story with the intention to make the movie as genuine as attainable. He then informed them that it was their story from that time on, and he didn’t need to be concerned within the artistic course of.

Since finishing the movie, Riedhof has proven it to Leiris, who was “very touched by it; he was actually overwhelmed,” Riedhof says. “He mentioned he might can determine with the movie, noticed himself within the story, and that it’s near his expertise.”

It was casting director Constance Demontoy who prompt Deladonchamps for the position of Leiris, and through the audition Riedhof noticed a resemblance — not simply by way of seems to be however psychology as nicely — between the actor and the real-life Leiris. “There’s a fragility and a sure the Aristocracy that he shares with Antoine,” Riedhof says. The 2 needed to have “the identical soul in a manner.” Leiris is an mental and describes himself as a “Bobo,” a bourgeois bohemian, which the actor is ready to convey. Deladonchamps’ capability to precise his character’s interior state in a “clear and tangible” manner was crucial, Riedhof says.

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“You Will Not Have My Hate”
Courtesy of Komplizen Movie

Central to the movie is the efficiency of the kid who performs Melvil. The seek for an appropriate candidate stretched throughout 4 international locations and ultimately three-year-old Zoé Iorio was chosen. A youngsters’s coach labored with Iorio for 3 months so she might ship the efficiency that the script demanded. “Just a few youngsters and Zoé specifically can categorical their ideas and emotions, and offer you because the viewers the likelihood to look into their soul, and to get the interior motion and never solely the outer motion,” Riedhof says.

When studying the e-book, Riedhof discovered himself considering of his relationship along with his personal little one, who was of an analogous age as Melvil, and imaging how he would cope if this occurred to him. However though he might determine with the central character, the problem was to placed on display the e-book’s “inside view” of Leiris’ life, written in a “poetic” manner, with little or no motion. The opposite challenge was tips on how to manifest the evil that the terrorists represented — the potential object of Leiris’ hatred — with out displaying the assault itself, which might have been too “on the nostril,” Riedhof says. He provides that it was a situation laid down by Leiris that they need to not dramatize that a part of the story.

Within the movie, Riedhof needed to give attention to the victims of the assault, relatively than the perpetrators, and present how it isn’t simply concerning the loss of life of 1 lady, however the destruction of a household. “It’s one factor to speak about terrorism in a political manner, however to really feel the impact, to really feel terrorism as an anti-familial energy, that is so putting on this story, and so touching, and this makes us cry once we learn the story.”

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“You Will Not Have My Hate”
Courtesy of Leonore Mueller

A technique that the impact of the assaults on French society is conveyed is thru the tv information reviews that Leiris watches. The usage of cellular expertise, social media and conventional media to convey data is a vital aspect within the movie. For instance, preliminary reviews of the assault come to Leiris by way of textual content message, and he makes his response to the terrorists on Fb. That submit is shared 250,000 occasions, and sparks an enormous variety of feedback from around the globe. We then see Leiris showing on TV reveals to speak about his views. Ultimately, we see him steeling himself to observe a video of the assault on YouTube.

“I feel it was — for a sure time — necessary for Antoine to have this media response, simply to outlive,” Riedhof says. “At one level in an interview, he mentioned: ‘Effectively, we live alone, the three of us.’ So in a manner, he was in a position to hold [the memory of his wife alive], regardless that she was lifeless.” It was a type of coping mechanism for Leiris, Riedhof says. Nonetheless, there got here a degree when it turned an excessive amount of for him to bear — the stress of this undesirable fame and the general public’s expectations. “He’s a public hero; folks acknowledge him within the metro. So, he has to eliminate it, as a result of in any other case he would abandon himself and his son. And I feel what actually helps him is committing himself to his son.”

One other aspect of the movie is a shift in Leiris’ relationship along with his brother and sister, and his spouse’s mom and sister after the assault. “You may see that he’s nearer to them on the finish than firstly. As a result of I feel firstly, he desires to maintain the reminiscence of his lifeless spouse unique. This story is about how he involves share his grief, to share his feelings along with his household, and to find that they may also help him.”

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Kilian Riedhof
Courtesy of Mathias Bothor

A lot of the motion takes place in Leiris’ condo, which supplies the movie an virtually claustrophobic air, tinged with a way of enveloping insanity and horror as he struggles to deal with his loss. As famous earlier than, Riedhof had Gluck’s opera “Orpheus and Eurydice” in thoughts. “I feel it has to do with the forces of darkness, that are clearly the forces of terrorism. And, alternatively, there may be the heavenly look of his spouse. So it has to do with hell and heaven, with gentle and darkish, and it oscillates between these two poles. So it was necessary to not do a practical description, however to allow us to dive into this subterranean-world of a person who loses his spouse in such a tragic and brutal manner.”

“You Will Not Have My Hate” is produced by Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach and Maren Ade at Komplizen Movie. It’s coproduced by Haut et Court docket, which is the French distributor, and Frakas Productions. Beta Cinema is dealing with world gross sales.

Subsequent up for Riedhof is the World Conflict II drama “Stella. A Life.,” which stars “Undine” actor Paula Beer. Based mostly on a real story, it follows the German Jewish jazz singer Stella, who — after being tortured and threatened with deportation by the Gestapo — agrees to be a “catcher,” somebody who tracks down fellow Jews in hiding. From September 1943 till the top of the struggle, she delivers lots of of Jews to the Gestapo. The movie is being offered by World Display screen.

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