Claude Miller - A Secret: "I prefer women to men"

Claude Miller – A Secret: “I prefer women to men”

At the end of 2007, Première met Cécile de France and the director of the drama Un secret, to be seen again this evening on Arte.

The exploration of a heavy family secret and the story of a passion, through the inner journey of François, a lonely child who invents a brother and imagines his parents' past. On his fifteenth birthday, a family friend reveals to young François a shocking truth, but which finally allows him to build himself.

In October 2007, the editorial staff of First had been marked by A secret, by Claude Miller. Five years before his death, we published two positive reviews of the film, as well as a cross-interview between the director and his main actress, Cécile de France. Here is an extract from this interview, followed by our opinions on the film to be seen again this Wednesday evening on Arte. Note that it is also visible on VOD, notably on First Max.

First: Claude, A secret occupies a special place in your filmography…
Claude Miller : Many people in my family have not returned from the camps. My childhood was haunted by this period. For a long time, I lived with the terror that everything would start again. This era, at least on an unconscious level, continues to haunt me. However, I approached this film like any other. What particularly interested me in the book was this story of crazy love that we have no right to judge. Passion turns to tragedy because of the Shoah, but passion remains the main element for me.

In Un secret, we find your favorite motifs. For example, fear linked to childhood, as in The best way to walk Or Snow Class
CM: Yes. How do children deal with parents who happen upon them? How do they manage to cope?

In your films, female characters always seem to be the most important…
CM: This comes down to personal taste. I prefer women to men. They are less masked, less arrogant, less in a neurotic relationship with power. We could talk about it for a long time… I can't see myself making a film without heroines. When there are only men on the screen, I get bored.
CDF: I felt that when I discovered your scenario. It's not often you come across such deep, well-written female characters.

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A secret seen by Olivier de Bruyn in Première: It must be admitted: the film, classic and rigorous, sometimes seems to lack audacity, particularly in the temporal alternations materialized on the screen by the transitions from black and white to color. Miller has already been more aesthetically inventive. Either. But the emotional power of the film, the fruit of its ambition and its demands, is so rare in French cinema with a popular vocation that it would be unfair to stop at these few formal reservations. In his genre, A secret is a rare commodity. And therefore a valuable film.

A secret seen by Eve Gimenez on After the Second World War, an only child from a Jewish family discovers a dark secret about the events that preceded his birth. With A secret, Claude Miller signs an exceptional adaptation of the eponymous novel by Philippe Grimbert. The director never commits the pitfall of treating his subject with excessive picturesqueness. The originality is there (scenes from the past in color and scenes from the present in black and white) and the effective staging keeps us in suspense until the end credits. The excellent performance of the actors (Ludivine Sagnier, Julie Depardieu, etc.) is also no stranger to the success of the film. A… poignant secret.

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