Despair and humanity: Press conference with Catherine Corsini and the cast of La Fracture
The atmosphere is light at this midday press screening for the French competition entry The Divide (La Fracture). The cast joke with each other and poke fun at director Catherine Corsini, who says wearing a face mask is to blame for having to raise her voice during the shoot.
Her own experience of spending a night at the emergency room while demonstrations were happening in Paris was the basis for this film. She says the hospital at the core of the film is the ideal place for people’s paths to cross – for people from different backgrounds to congregate. Both despair and humanity are continually present; sometimes nurses need to take care of people who are unpleasant to them.
Pio Marmaï’s character in the film says he would like to talk to Macron and tell him about the lives of the people from whom he is so far removed. Asked whether or not they would like to speak to the French president, the team are hesitant. Marmaï says he is in no position to give a lecture – after all, they are not the ones who suffer from his policies. Corsini tells the journalists that she wishes Macron would double the wages of healthcare personnel in France. She is shocked that even after the pandemic showed how vital workers in this position are, nothing has changed for them:
“People stopped applauding nurses but their crisis continues.”
“If you don’t have nurses, what can doctors do?” asks real-life nurse Aissatou Diallo Sagna, who gave her screen debut in The Divide. She says she was touched by the importance of her role in the film. Everything happening on-screen has been experienced before, either by her or colleagues.
Being as real as possible was more important than sticking to the script, cast and crew reveal. An example is a scene in which the bandage clings to an artificial wound: the nurse applies a saline solution to remove it, just as a health professional would do if it happened to a real wound.
La Fracture is a film about the divide in society. “Will this change after the pandemic?” a journalist asks. Director Corsini replies: “If I had an answer, I would have a sequel to the film.”
La Fracture does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.