When Emily Atef picks up her phone this Wednesday, November 16, the day of the release of her new film, More than ever, she does what she calls “the meal tour“. Understand that she goes to various Parisian cinemas to meet, throughout the day, spectators coming to see her feature film. “It’s not easy, it makes you humble. Afterwards, I admit that it’s above all a relief to see the film released in theaters. “It must be said that everything was not easy. A production of crazy length, a subject far from simple, a main actor who dies in a terrible accident, a few weeks before the presentation of the film in Cannes. But here it is, the film, terrible, which tells the story of a sick woman (Vicky Krieps), who decides to let herself die, far from everything, and of her companion (Gaspard Ulliel) who fights so that she stays in vie, is finally out. And it deserves your full attention. The filmmaker explains to us: “I had the idea in 2010, 12 years ago, therefore. I started writing it in 2011, I had someone to help me write in 2012. I found a producer in 2014. Then I went back to writing alone, and I got the deal from Vicky and Gaspard in 2018. We shot in 2021, and it’s coming out now. It was long, really long.” As a reminder, a film takes between two and three years to make, in most cases. We are therefore talking about a really substantial production. Especially since it’s a story that Emily Atef has wanted to tell for a long time, since her earliest childhood: “It’s a film that needed maturity, which was close to my heart. This last stage of life, I lived it. When I was little, my dog, who was very close to our family circle, left to die. We felt betrayed and a vet friend told us that he was from the wolf family, and when the wolves felt it was their time, they left the pack, found a bush, so as not to put the pack in danger and be quiet.” This desire to leave, to decide when you want to die, which is taboo, “a little too taboo” according to the author, therefore gave birth to this woman’s journey. Far from her family, her friends, who have nothing but pity and sadness for her. Far from her companion, who wants to fight for two, where she wants to let go. For the character played by Vicky Krieps, this bush, far from the pack, will be the home of a man whose articles she has read from his blog who also suffers from an incurable disease. And this man happens to live in Norway. This is no coincidence, since the filmmaker says that she took a motorcycle trip there at the age of 25 with a friend, and that the landscapes marked her like no other: “On this motorcycle, I was close to nature , which is so big that we realize that we are nothing. With this light that makes you crazy. The silence, all that, inspires me a lot. And then, this mountain, this water, it makes you humble. They never die. We tell ourselves that nature does not give a damn that we are there. And that makes death easier to accept, somewhere.” The acceptance of death is at the center of the artist’s story and reflection. Why don’t the living talk to the dying? While we know that we will all go through it. “I don’t want to pass the baccalaureate. I’m pregnant, I don’t want to think about it; OK, don’t think about it, but it will happen“, she jokes, before specifying that it “must start this subject, with his relatives“.“When we are born, the only thing we knows, we are going to die. We don’t know if we’re going to experience love, passion, a job that excites us. And yet, we never talk about it. Especially when you die alone. Even if we jump hand in hand, death is lonely. So every human has the right to choose how he wants to live his last stage of life. It’s crazy violence that the living prevent themselves from asking the question.” arm and not leave with dignity, it’s Gaspard Ulliel. A man who cannot hear this speech, who does not listen to it. Until a certain time. We don’t want to spoil the pleasure of the film, but you can imagine that there will be an evolution. At the end, it is almost him who becomes the hero of the film, “who accepts something inconceivable, who offers the most beautiful act of love there is“. Obviously, to see the latter fight so much against death , when we know that the actor left us in a terrible accident, only accentuates the certain emotion that we feel in front of the film. Emily Atef, to conclude: “The injustice in history, is that we are talking about a woman of about thirty-five, who is going to die of her illness. Inevitably, it echoes his stupid skiing accident. He had so much to give us, as a human and as an artist. It’s awful, it’s horrible, and it tells us to enjoy every moment, because we don’t know how long we’re going to stay. It’s so random. I’m just happy to have met him. He gave so much to Vicky, as a playmate. And then, it’s beautiful because he’s a character who suffers and struggles but who is so luminous and magnificent in the film. Luckily that’s it, and not a miserable role.” A last outstanding role, for a film that is just as important. More than ever is currently in theaters.
Leave a comment