French fiction takes action against violence against women

(AFP) – Domestic violence, sexual assault, teenage prostitution … Four years after #MeToo, a wave of fictions dealing with violence against women is sweeping over French channels, a healthy trend in the eyes of committed personalities in the sector.

“It was time for the channels and the media in general to take hold of these subjects!”, Rejoices to AFP Andréa Bescond (“Les Chatouilles”), co-director and the cast of the TV movie “A la folie” (M6), in the grip of a narcissistic pervert, in competition at the La Rochelle fiction festival.

Worn by Marie Gillain and Alexis Michalik, this fiction, inspired by the experience of its co-screenwriter, the humorist Eléonore Bauer, is part of a rather dark selection, a reflection of his time.

Adapted from a Quebec work, the shock series of TF1 “Fugueuse” follows the descent into hell of a teenage girl who, under the influence of an older man, will fall into prostitution after having been raped. That of 13e RUE, “I killed my husband”, deals with domestic violence.

Side telefilms, the employees of a printing press are mobilized in “Boomerang” (France Televisions), led by Louise, camped by Corinne Masiero, to defend a worker sexually assaulted by a colleague protected by the management.

In “Doubts”, tense closed doors of Arte, Muriel Robin plays the presenter of an investigative program leading the investigation into her own husband, accused by a young woman of having raped her as a child.

And the list is still growing with the programs announced outside the festival: “She saved me” (M6) on the feminicide of Julie Douib, at the origin of the Grenelle against domestic violence, “Service Volé” (TF1 ), adapted from Isabelle Demongeot’s book, raped by her tennis trainer, “H24” (Arte), a series of short films written by writers and drawn from 24 true stories of violence of all kinds …

“It is the sign of an awareness” comments for AFP Olivier Wotling, director of the fiction of Arte France.

“As the word is freed, we are in the movement of the world”, explains his counterpart from France Televisions, Anne Holmes, recalling that MeToo has resulted in a number of articles, books, testimonies, and that it ” takes about two years to make a fiction “.

This is a subject that “fascinates the public”, adds Florent Gellie, director of fiction programs for the M6 ​​group, citing the enormous success of TF1 audiences with his TV movie on Jacqueline Sauvage in 2018.

– “Stimulate debate” –
For M6, the treatment of these subjects follows the modification, for two years, of its editorial line towards “committed societal fictions”, likely to please the housewife of less than 50 years, who, “we are not going away. hide “, remains” the privileged commercial target of private channels “.

It is also a question of “stimulating the debate” in the hearths, estimates Anne Holmes, claiming the role “precursor” of the public service in the matter.

Corinne Masiero thus hopes that “Boomerang” will “trigger the word among viewers”, as was the case among the crews of the filming.

“When we talk about it we realize that everyone has suffered (sexual) assault or knows someone who has been a victim,” notes this activist who put on a show on violence against women, “Vaginitis “, and” asked to be a harassment referent on two shoots “.

The small screen also makes it possible to reach a large audience, insists Andréa Bescond. His film on child crime, “Les Chatouilles”, had nearly 400,000 tickets in theaters in 2018, and gathered 3.6 million spectators when it was broadcast on France 2.

“Television is quite magical if we need to deliver a message,” said the one who will play in “Touchées”, a TF1 TV movie directed by Alexandra Lamy on therapeutic fencing for women victims of sexual violence.

“Now political society must evolve with this great progress of civil society, and there for the moment we are really lagging behind.”