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Racine, Raging Passions

Racine, Raging Passions

A Feature film by Catherine Maximoff

Produced by Les Films du Présent

Production year : 2013


    Fifteen young stage actors attend a five-week workshop led by Anne Delbée, writer, director andtheexpert on the French poet Jean Racine.Through her workshop, exploring his play Andromaque, she clearly criticizes the dusty, conventional interpretations offered up by contemporary Racine productions, wishing, after all, to bring the students to the essential point: Andromaque is a play about love and death. Andromaque : or, the urgency of feelings.
    Guided by Anne Delbée’s intimate knowledge of the subject and her enthusiasm, they literally dive into the poet’s world - his life, his choices and his century. It is also an opportunity for them to appropriate a diction, a certain way of acting, and to portray intense characters without putting aside any of the emotion and the strength of the play-as-argument. They are confronted with the present-day issues raised by Racine himself, who was their age when he wrote the piece. Rebellion, eroticism and the struggle for power all shine forth from this tragedy, and reveal Andromache as a heroine for the 21st century.

    Actors (15)

    Production and distribution

    Executive Producer :

    Les Films du Présent


    Director’s intention

    «At the beginning of this project, vague memories from secondary school; in which Racine and Corneille blithely mix up; some fossilized verses in a part of my head and nothing else. Many years later, when I saw Francis Huster playing the Cid, I thought that this theatre wasn’t for me. I admit the importance of preserving heritage, as long as nobody imposes it to me ! Heritage and its trade suffocate us; creation became suspicious. What a strange time when newness scares.
    My studies, and then my professional experiences leaded me to music and dance. Theatre always became distant. New sporadic intents keep me saying that theatre is too talkative. All these words declaimed with emphasis don’t sound good to my earing... First of all there is Anne Delbée’s passion for Racine and his language, her references to our contemporary world when she was evoking Andromache (news, cinema, photography), that persuaded me to follow her and to develop the project of this documentary. Racine Roman, the book she devoted to him, revealed to me the man and the poet, in a poignant style. An artist who wrote in order not to die.
    To Anne, Tragedy is a life moral, the stage an original place where everything i possible. This late sentence sums up precisly what is at stake in the film. To rediscover the Tragedy, its origins, , its meaning and its contemporary dimension. To listen to a language that went through centuries to fill the bodies of our young actors. »

    Photos (4)

    Full credits (8)

    Executive Producer :

    Patrice Nezan

    Directors of Photography :

    Johan Legraie, Samuel Dravet

    Camera operator :

    Sara Cornu

    Editor :

    Emmanuelle Baude

    Sound recordists :

    Olivier de Nesle, Yves Laisné

    Assistant Operator :

    Thomas Caselli

    Production Manager :

    Laurent Versini

    Sound Mixer :

    Christophe Vingtrinier

    Technical details

    Feature film

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    Runtime :

    1 h 17 min

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