Released on January 12, Adieu Monsieur Haffmann brings together Gilles Lellouche and Danieul Auteuil in a film set during the Second World War. Is this poignant drama inspired by a true story?
Farewell Monsieur Haffmann takes us to Paris, in 1941. François Mercier, played by Gilles Lellouche, is an ordinary man who only aspires to start a family with the woman he loves, Blanche (Sara Giraudeau).
He is also the employee of a talented jeweler, Joseph Haffmann, played by Daniel Auteuil. But faced with the German occupation, the two men will have no choice but to conclude an agreement whose consequences, over the months, will upset the destiny of our three characters.
FROM POLAR TO HISTORIC FILM
This feature film is signed Fred Cavayé. After having signed nervous thrillers with For her, At close range or Mea Culpa, the director had made a 180 degree turn with the comedies Les Infidèles, Radin and Le Jeu. This time, he returns behind the camera with this film of time located in the middle of World War II, during the German occupation.
A STORY INSPIRED BY REAL FACTS?
Is the plot based on a true story? If the story is rooted in reality, the Jews having been victims of the spoliation of their property by the Nazis, the story of Adieu Monsieur Haffmann is completely invented.
It is an adaptation of the play of the same name written and directed by Jean-Philippe Daguerre.
FROM THEATER TO THE BIG SCREEN
On the boards, the work was presented for the first time in Avignon in 2016. It was an immediate success, chaining 750 performances. The play then won numerous awards, including 4 Molières in 2018: Best Show, Best Author, Female Revelation (Julie Cavanna) and Best Supporting Actor (Franck Desmedt).
Fred Cavayé and the author of the play, Jean-Philippe Daguerre, have been friends for more than 20 years. With this project, the filmmaker wanted to portray collaborators under the Occupation. He took liberties with the original work to deliver his vision of Mr. Haffmann’s story.
“I see the play and I discover that it’s not really the subject. I had told it to myself! The text was really great but I wanted to take it elsewhere. What Jean-Philippe told me authorized to do by offering me all the possible freedoms. So I kept the starting point of Adieu Monsieur Haffmann and made the characters evolve differently, especially that of François, played by Gilles Lellouche”, says the director.
THE ORIGINS OF MR. HAFFMANN
Daguerre doesn’t really know where the idea for this piece came from: “Probably from my first childhood memories with “Bon Papa Alban” who walked me for hours in the cemetery of Montauban. We stopped in front of each grave, he told me about the life of the dead… and I loved it. Undoubtedly from this school trip to Auschwitz which took me away from childhood while bringing me closer to the horror of which men are capable. a baby”, explains the author.
For the playwright, Adieu Monsieur Haffmann is a play that speaks of love, courage and fear. At the heart of history, it helps to better understand the disorder of men.
“The writing of Adieu Monsieur Haffmann through its dramaturgical and rhythmic construction can make one think of a film script. As much as I love cinema, I don’t like the “natural” play of cinema in the Theatre. in my direction of acting to propose a rhythmic point of view guided by this intimate conviction which influences all my stagings of the classical and contemporary repertoire. We do not breathe in the theater as in life, we do not speak and we do not move in the theater like in life”, analyzes Jean-Philippe Daguerre.
Meeting with Daniel Auteuil and Gilles Lellouche