Cannes Festival 2022: “Tirailleurs”, Omar Sy in trenches of First World War

The drama of Mathieu Vadepied, on the Senegalese fighters enlisted by force, opened the a certain look section.


In 1998 died the last rift of the First World War (1914-1918), in a small village in Senegal. The director and chief operator Mathieu Vadepied says that it is by reading an article in the world of November 1998), relating this event, that he felt invested with a “mission”: to tell how soldiers, for some enlightenment Forced, were brought to fight thousands of kilometers from their home. On the same subject, the Cannes Festival had selected, in official competition, in 2006, natives, from Rachid Bouchareb (on Algerian skirmishers).

partly turned in Senegal, in a Peul village, but especially in the Ardennes, the film follows the tragic fate of a father, Bakary, (Omar Sy) and his son (Alassane Diong), who are torn from their families and find themselves overnight in uniform. Under the command of a young white officer, Lieutenant Chambreau (Jonas Blocquet), ready to do anything to take the ascendant on the enemy, the two men will live the hell of the trenches. The father tries to escape it several times, with his son. Then he takes bravery, his bravery being appreciated by the lieutenant. To the hardness of the war is added an intimate conflict between the two men, Bakary finding himself under the command of his son.

Originally from a Peul village, Omar Sy interprets his role in his mother tongue, with a certain restraint, even if the scenario places him at the center of the device, sometimes a little too much. On the other hand, the secondary characters are not very embodied, especially the family members who remained in the village. There remains the tribute to the Senegalese fighters. A few seconds before the Cannes projection, Omar Sy briefly spoke to declare: “We don’t all have the same memory, but we have the same story.”

/Media reports.