Danielle Arbid and Simple Passion | The swindle of love

Filmmaker Danielle Arbid has chosen Lætitia Dosch to portray the fiery heroine of a novel Annie Ernaux published three decades ago on the big screen. The two women shared a beautiful spiritual community to share light passiona film whose story revolves around a carnal and epidermal connection.

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Marc Andre Lussier

Marc Andre Lussier
The press

Danielle Arbid (A lost man, afraid of nothing) has long wanted to tell a love story in the cinema. It turned out that the producers, believing the filmmaker knew how to film the more sensual scenes beautifully, offered her to produce a feature film that would center on a passionate connection between two beings.

“I really like directing sex scenes,” the director launches from the start during a video conference interview The press. To me it’s like sculpture, dance, impressionist painting, desire, it’s all at the same time. I’m having more trouble shooting a scene where two people are talking in a coffee shop! »

The purity of a love story

The director was looking for a story to tell by reading novels that deal with love and sex. Surprisingly, they are quite rare. Either love is invoked in a disembodied way (“it’s like people don’t fuck!” she says) or, on the contrary, we fall into the works, where there sex is described in all its lust, with very often Sadian accents.

It’s like love for two, more classic, regardless of the orientation of the lovers, not told much. Or we always add a social aspect. But the fact of the matter is that the purity of a two-person love story is rare in literature. I found it in Annie Ernaux’s book.

Danielle Arbid, Director

Released 1992, light passion tells the desperate relationship between a young divorced woman and a mother whose life will now revolve around the dates a married lover from abroad gives her – or not. Autobiographical novel by an author who has recently been the focus of cinema news The eventan adaptation of another autobiographical novel (Audrey Diwan’s film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival last year), light passion is the story of a love and a sexual swindle.


Laetitia Dosch in light passiona film by Danielle Arbid

“I don’t see this woman as submissive, not at all,” warns the filmmaker. I could never bear to tell the story of a female victim. Annie Ernaux is very courageous in her book, because nobody wants to admit to crawling before love. Feminism is also about holding your head high by accepting that you’ve been hurt by a romantic relationship. However, the book was rejected upon publication. Annie sent me the press review at the time as if to discourage me from doing the film. But it motivated me even more to do it! »

The supreme elegance

However, finding the actress to play the heroine was not an easy task. After four years of research, the filmmaker was close to abandoning the project. A meeting with Lætitia Dosch, celebrated thanks to her performance in Young woman (Léonor Serraille), changed the situation.

“Ten minutes and it was done! the director remembers. Lætitia has an inner modesty that, in my opinion, is the supreme elegance. Both actually have it. »


Laetitia Dosch and Sergei Polunin in light passiona film by Danielle Arbid

The other actor Danielle Arbid refers to is Sergei Polunin. Renowned bad boy Coming from the world of classical dance (he left the Royal Ballet in London, where he was a principal dancer, at the age of 21!), sometimes in trouble for outmoded statements on social networks, the Russian dancer took his role as a perfect human object in this story.

Sergei is a very mysterious man. A real punk. Its reputation is a bit sulphurous, but filming went extremely well. He was very respectful and did exactly what I asked of him.

Danielle Arbid

For her part, Lætitia Dosch conjures up a role that she wouldn’t want to be without for anything in the world. And says she’s happy with her experience.

“I was already a big reader of Annie Ernaux,” she says. When we met, Danielle and I, it clicked immediately. I see her as a true visual poet and I really enjoyed the way she talked to me about the sex scenes. I think she wanted to scare me at first because this role has scared other actresses before, which I can understand. I thought it was beautiful and amazing! »

light passion hits the big screen on August 19. This feature film is also available on Apple TV+, Google Play and YouTube.

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