Locarno Film Festival | 2019
"...I met many men, often exiles, far from their families, deprived of their intimacy, who came to work at all costs in these industries."
Douze Mille (Twelve Thousand)
Dir. Nadège Trebal
After he loses his illegal job, Frank thinks Maroussia won’t love him anymore and leaves to make as much money as she does: 12,000, just what it takes to last for a year.
Hi Nadège, thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?
I am fine, thank you, and I hope you are, too.
What does it mean to you to be at Locarno Film Festival with Douze Mille?
Presenting my film at Locarno makes me feel immense pleasure and an honour! I have always loved the spirit and the audacity of this festival, with films of authors from all over the world, it is a dream to join this programming.
Does being in the Concorse Internationale add any additional pressure on you?
Having my film selected is a wonderful reward in itself, a joy for my entire crew.
Do you ever get nervous sharing your films with festival audiences?
Of course. It’s always a leap and an accomplishment.
Can you tell me a little bit about Douze Mille, what can we expect?
Twelve Thousand is a love movie, a political movie. Frank hits the roads of a world at war, in the process of deindustrialization, from which work seems to have disappeared. His epic allows him to measure himself against the world and to find a place there, to repair his own image. Like every odyssey, this inner journey is necessary for him to return to his love, Maroussia.
What was the inspiration behind this film?
During my first documentaries, I met many men, often exiles, far from their families, deprived of their intimacy, who came to work at all costs in these industries. These men are full of fiction because they move through these inordinate decors, their labour-power, their desires, their melancholy, they have always appeared to me as universal and contemporary heroes, and inspired me Frank.
What was the biggest challenge you faced bringing Douze Mille to the screen?
To show this balance of power between the fury of our desires and the savagery of liberal capitalism, which intrudes into our sheets, into the heart of our stories, to deprive them. I wanted to film this telluric, invisible front line. Tell a love story in a hostile environment.
How important is creative collaboration when making a film like this?
It is a collaboration of every moment, like heavy fire, the team radiates around the film, without really knowing in advance what it will be, it irradiates it, it already loves it.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
I think so. And it’s growing.
What was the first film you worked on?
It was a minute called "Lumière", in the manner of the brothers. A documentary fragment of about fifty seconds, facing hundreds of men praying in the street, in the Goutte d'Or district in Paris.
With this being your first narrative feature how was your approach to Douze Mille different from your previous films?
Documentary or fiction, for me, it’s the same attempt in the end. To give one’s gaze, to embody the world, to prepare oneself well to get rid of one’s programmes better, and to pray for the scenes to appear.
"...like a dream of crazy love that would carry us and hurt us, that would frighten us for them..."
Do you have any advice or tips for any emerging filmmakers?
Strengthen your desire for it to hold on to length. Because a film takes you years.
And finally, what do you want your audiences to take away from Douze Mille?
Desire and anger. I wish that Frank and Maroussia would inspire us, that they would amaze us, like a dream of crazy love that would carry us and hurt us, that would frighten us for them, and that our anger would then rise against this injustice and this hostile world that force them to separate.