L’EXERCICE DE L’ÉTAT
THE MINISTER

DIRECTOR
Pierre Schoeller

SCREENPLAY
Pierre Schoeller

CAST
Bertrand Saint-Jean:
Olivier Gourmet
Gilles: Michel Blanc
Pauline: Zabou Breitman
Yan: Laurent Stocker
Martin Kuypers: Sylvain Deblé

AWARDS
FIPRESCI Prize, Pierre Schoeller – Cannes Film Festival (2012)
Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Supporting Actor – César Awards (2012)

GENRE
Drama

DISTRIBUTOR
New Yorker Films

Running time 115’
Production France, Belgium, 2011
Rating Not Rated
Gauge 35, DVD

“There’s a lot of living matter that the film brings together in a single creative cinematic gesture establishing, for instance, a very creative relationship between image and sound. This ambitious, clever and impressive film has received eleven César nominations.”
Frédéric Strauss, Telerama

“Politics is a wound that never heals,” admits Bertrand Saint-Jean, the beleaguered head of France’s ministry of transportation in Pierre Schoeller’s deft examination of power. Plagued by weird Sadean nightmares involving hooded black figures, naked women devoured by alligators, and his own asphyxiation, Saint-Jean must frantically scramble from one crisis to another: a horrific bus accident, contentious meetings over a plan to privatize France’s train stations, explosive discussions with his colleagues in the cabinet, a near-death experience. The incomparable Gourmet (frequently cast in films by the Dardenne brothers) is utterly mesmerizing as he transforms from a man of principle to a pizza-scarfing, hectoring tyrant—who then reverts to someone slightly more humane. Schoeller’s second feature (after 2008’s tender adult-child buddy film Versailles) forgoes moralizing about ambitious politicians for a more complex (and rewarding) approach: uncovering the thin line that separates altruism from narcissism.

 

 

 



 

 

The Tournées Festival
972 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10075

Phone 212 439 1451
Fax 212 439 1455

 
E-mail tourneesfestival@facecouncil.org © FACE