Xavier Durringer Quotes

There’s a double meaning in the film The Conquest. First, the conquest of power at the UMP party and how Sarkozy had to fight his colleagues inside the party so that it was him running for President. He wins the political conquest, but he loses the feminine conquest in that his wife leaves him. It’s hard for a President to be single – that’s never happened.

The Conquest is not a film about Nicolas Sarkozy – it’s a film about political conquest. It’s a Shakespearean expression, where we have all the elements of a drama, both political and personal at the same time. The decors and the costumes are all based on real photos – I wanted to be as close to reality as possible. Nicola Piovani’s theatrical music gives a distance that’s almost Chaplinesque, there’s something quite funny. There’s no imitation, no caricature, no parodie – it’s realism with a distance where the dialogues are often quite funny.

There are laws about personal protection so it’s rare to see a politician criticized. Normally, according to the law, there’s a judicial problem with calling people by their real names.

If some actors were more realistic and others bordering on caricature, that would have been imbalanced. It would be as if we saw an airplane in a 3 Musketeers movie.

All politicians have three ways of expressing themselves – the intimate dialogue that can often be violent and raw, then the dialogue in front of the camera and then big public speeches.

I’m ready for all forms of dialogue about the film The Conquest. There will be a lot of political talk, but I don’t think the film itself will be scandalous. For the French, there are so many emotions relating to Sarkozy and politicians in general that I think the film will generate a lot of passion, whether it be negative or positive. Above all, it’s a fictional film. It was important not to make a documentary and to really pay attention to the images. From the choice of the actors to the mise en scene, the film is completely cinematographic. It’s not just a boring political movie.

I want viewers want to talk about The Conquest. I want the dialogue to start after the movie. The cinema is there to leave a trace. I hope my film leaves a trace and that it will open a door for French cinema and that tomorrow other directors will make political movies. The job of a filmmaker today is to talk about the world surrounding him and, through his movies, to both entertain and raise questions about modern society.

The point of view foreigners will have of the film The Conquest isn’t the same as the French public. What will interest American and international audiences is the love story between Nicolas and Cecelia that’s a metaphor of today’s occidental couple, namely the women in the shadows who carry their husbands into the spotlight, but the man is so absorbed with work so the woman leaves him for another man.

The film The Conquest will be seen on many different levels and the American point of view is always more technical. The French are less technical – it’s ‘I like it, or I don’t like it.’ I hope that this film can have a life in the U.S. – it’s the grand country of cinema. I grew up with Hollywood movies, so for a French director to have a film distributed in the U.S. is a real opportunity.