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It’s been two years now that the French stand-up comedian Coluche has been triumphing every night at the Gymnase theater and his tales travel from school playgrounds to university benches, passing through factories, cafes, salons, and prisons. They’re like an invisible thread that weaves through that much talked-about social fabric.
The former petty hoodlum from the tough Montrouge neighborhood now makes the whole world laugh. The oppressed laugh at their oppressors – and some of the latter even laugh at themselves. We can exploit the poor old world and still enjoy having a laugh.
After being fired from Radio Monte-Carlo for the crime of lese-majesty, an idea comes to him, prompted by filmmaker Romain Goupil: Finally, the only place where no one can censor him is if he becomes a candidate in the upcoming elections.
The elections are highly anticipated because the principle of alternation, of prime importance for a democracy, has not been applied for twenty-three years since the right wing has been in power. Encouraged by his gang, which is quickly seconded by the public, Coluche launches into this insane endeavor, with a foolhardiness equal to his sense of freedom, without ever imagining what might be waiting for him in the wings.
During the few months that this adventure lasts, he not only rubs up against a realpolitik of the most abrupt kind, but also and above all against himself, or rather a part of himself that he never suspected existed.
Here is a story that will act like a pointer of a society, and of a man whom we too quickly reduced to the role of clown. It is therefore, quite simply, the story of a guy who is suddenly thrust into a mission he never asked for and whose weight will nearly crush him.
It’s the story of a metamorphosis.