France: Films Emerge on the Notre-Dame Fire

July 26, 2021
Source: FSSPX Spirituality

Several films on the Notre-Dame de Paris fire have already been made or are in the process of being made.

Jean-Jacques Annaud, director of Seven Years in Tibet (1997), began filming on March 9, 2021, Notre-Dame is Burning.

“Beyond the Christian symbol, it is a place of prayer, a sacred place from very ancient times that threatened to disappear. I think that's what moved people at a time when, deep down, our society lacks spirituality. In the Notre-Dame fire it is the sacred that burns and that is what I will show,” he told La Croix daily. Jean-Jacques Annaud announces the release of the feature film on April 15, 2022.

The story of the Notre-Dame fire has been reconstructed by filming in different cathedrals which bear great similarity to the Parisian edifice, in Amiens, Sens, or Bourges. A digital work will perfect the illusion, by reconstructing part of the sets in the studio, for the fire scenes. The decorations are in plaster, wood or resin, and made identically.

“The film, in French, is intended for very large screens around the world, primarily theaters equipped with the latest technologies, IMAX theaters and those equipped with the new ATMOS-style multi-source enveloping sound systems,” he explains.

The ambition of this film, which follows key figures who intervened on the scene on the night of the fire, is to show “a truth often ignored by most people; they saw the fire from the outside, I am going to show them what happened inside, bring to life what was not seen and sometimes what was not known,” adds the filmmaker after collecting hundreds of testimonials and authentic videos.

At the end of March, Netflix announced La Part du feu, a series in six 60-minute episodes, directed by Hervé Hadmar. “Notre-Dame burning,” he confides, “is the symbol of our society which is dividing, which is also in danger of destruction.”

Also constructed in the form of a story with several voices, the film is designed in collaboration with the Paris Fire Brigade and Romain Gubert, authors of La Nuit de Notre-Dame: par ceux qui l’ont sauvée [Notre-Dame Night: by Those Who Saved It] (Grasset , 2019).

The series on the American platform “follows both characters in the fight against the fire on the square of the cathedral, but also looks at the more intimate and personal scope of this event across France,” said Damien Couvreur, director of original series at Netflix.

The fire has also inspired the brothers Gédéon and Jules Naudet in the documentary “Notre-Dame de Paris,” broadcast on Telemontecarlo on April 13, 2021, which recounts the night of the fire through the testimonies of those who experienced it.

After that dramatic night of Holy Monday April 15, 2019, explained Jules Naudet: “we called our firefighter friends to congratulate them and tell them that we were proud of them. It was by talking to some of them that we realized that there were beautiful human stories to tell, whether from the firefighters or from the people who gravitate towards Notre-Dame.”

Gédéon Naudet said: “Whether you are religious or not, French or not, we have all realized that a sublime monument was in danger of disappearing. But there was something more traumatic that made us uncomfortable, and that was the feeling that a monument that was supposed to be immutable was in danger of disappearing. We've all unconsciously realized one terrifying thing: nothing lasts. It’s like Covid: overnight everything changes and what we’ve taken for granted is not.”