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Featuring a revelatory lead performance from Benjamin Lavernhe (Delicious, C’est la vie!), writer/director Frédéric Tellier’s sweeping and deeply affecting historical drama charts the extraordinary life of the titular priest and humanitarian (1912-2007) who advocated for those most in need whilst frequently placing himself in peril and risk of ostracisation.
The fifth of eight Catholic children, Henri Grouès (Lavernhe) plans to join the monastery, only for WWII to intervene. Learning of the persecution of Jews and patriots, he joins the Resistance to help those fleeing Gestapo oppression, himself forced to use several false identities to avoid capture. As “Abbé Pierre”, Henri is exposed to the devastation of war, but also bears witness to the compassion and strength of brotherhood and the liberation of Paris; he emerges from the maelstrom a changed man and becomes dedicated to the lives of others.
A major word-of-mouth sensation and box office success in France in late 2023, Tellier’s grand, big-budget production features a stirring soundtrack by The National’s Bryce Dessner and is truly elevated by the remarkable Lavernhe. Abbé Pierre is both an uplifting and memorable drama that – in capturing the feelings, doubts and contradictions of one inspirational man - speaks eloquently to the concerns of our current era.
OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2023 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL (OUT OF COMPETITION)
Tuesday 5th March
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Emmanuelle Bercot, Benjamin Lavernhe, Michel Vuillermoz
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