Coming to VOD today, Thursday, January 7: JE SUIS CHARLIE
Daniel Leconte and Emmanuel Leconte’s tribute to Charlie Hebdo made its debut at Toronto this past Fall. It has gone on to screen at CPH:DOX, Berlin’s French Film Week, Rio, and the Hong Kong French Film Festival. Netflix now releases the doc on the one-year anniversary of the attack that left eleven magazine staffers dead.
Making its debut less than eight months after the shooting, the Lecontes’ film would seem a hasty response, were it not for the fact that Daniel, the father of the father-son helming duo, had already made a doc on the satirical publication in 2007. This provides ample interview footage of the fallen cartoonists to supplement the newly-filmed testimony of the survivors which greatly benefits the project, and also speaks to the rapport the elder director felt for his subjects, which manifests in an unfortunate – and largely unnecessary – narration that bogs down the film, and too much of an insider’s viewpoint which to some degree assumes that all viewers are intimately familiar with Charlie Habdo‘s personalities. Still, the filmmakers do offer a rundown of the various controversies the paper invited through its brash provocations – including the defiant stand the surviving staffers took in their very next issue – providing a context for the attack and the free speech debate that followed internationally. Ultimately, the Lecontes succeed in paying tribute, even if their realization stumbles at times.