José Bové, film hero against tobacco lobbies, is the successful bet of “A matter of principle”

José Bové, film hero against tobacco lobbies, is the successful bet of “A matter of principle”
José Bové, film hero against tobacco lobbies, is the successful bet of “A matter of principle”

In his new film in theaters this Wednesday, May 1, “An Affair of Principle”, Antoine Raimbault places us in the footsteps of José Bosé (played on screen by Bouli Lanners) in the labyrinthine mysteries of European institutions. A thrilling and uplifting office thriller!

José Bové at the cinema? In the region, we would probably have imagined him in 1999, debunking the (not very) famous junk food brand (yellow) at the bottom of the Côte de la Cavalerie, in Millau. But for his second feature film five years after his excellent trial film An Intimate Conviction on the Suzanne Viguier affair (Olivier Gourmet played the then star of the bar Dupond-Moretti), the director Antoine Raimbault preferred him to be a European deputy, in Brussels, in 2012: A matter of principle is the adaptation of the story of the retiree from Montredon, Hold-up in Brussels, the lobbies at the heart of Europe (publishing La Découverte, 2015), written in collaboration with Gilles Luneau, which relates the “Dalligate”, its labyrinthine arcana, its conspiratorial developments.
So, John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health, in the fight against smoking, is dismissed under flimsy (if we dare say) pretexts. In the agitation which was then shaking Brussels and Strasbourg, our bouffard MEP, who had no ideological affinity with him but principles, did what he liked to do: he disagreed, reasoned and debunked. With the help of Fabrice, his zealous parliamentary assistant (Thomas VDB, truly amazing), and Clémence, his idealistic intern (Céleste Brunnquell, wonderful, as always), José Bové (Bouli Lanners, charismatic and sober) decides to investigate this dismissal, which is as sudden as it is unjustified. In doing so, he will uncover a gigantic affair of corruption and influence peddling involving tobacco lobbies. A scandal whose impact is still felt today since ten days ago, during his appeal trial on this case, the former director of the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) ended by charging José Manuel Barroso, the former president of the European Commission, who is therefore no longer safe from prosecution!
If it does not have the graphic power and tragic intensity of Revelations by Michael Mann, An Affair of Principle is nonetheless a very good surprise in the always complicated genre, since it is inherently talkative and static, of “ office thriller”. Well helped by his actors who breathe humanity, fantasy and spirit into their characters, Antoine Raimbault takes care to energize his story, carried out without downtime and a few nice side steps, and to make it constantly intelligible and interesting, despite the complication (all European ) facts.
In the end, not only does his film enlighten us on the functioning and usefulness of European democracy, but it also shows by the mustachioed example, and without hagiographic excess, that another political world is possible.
J.Be.

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