FRANCE CULTURE – ON DEMAND – FICTION
Comedian and author for theater and opera, Emmanuel Suarez is a child of radio (“For the freedom it allows”) and 19th century literaturee century, with Balzac prominently. Three years ago, he started for France Culture in the writing of Corentin Tréguier’s Incredible Expedition to Congo. Reflection in the manner of a Candide on “Colonial values based on domination”, this soap opera had captivated more than a million listeners. Happy news, he returns to the airwaves with a story as exciting as it is chilling.
It is the story of a gunshot, followed by a “I know, it’s cruel to interrupt this opening scene after a gunshot, but what was Thérèse saying? “It’s not done to start a story at the end, it’s rude” ”. Who is Thérèse? “You can see that we have to go back …” It is therefore the story of a story in History. That of Claire Praslin, historian of her state, free woman with a certain penchant for the Martini, who is trying to finish her thesis on the survivors of the Charlemagne division, these French volunteers recruited to fight in German uniform in the army of the IIIe Reich.
Until two witnesses who served as her source were found dead and the researcher found herself with armed men on her back. She finds help with a mysterious peasant woman from Morvan, the famous Thérèse, who puts her in the footsteps of her brother, whom she suspects of having been a member of the division… and of still hiding.
This evocation of a little explored chapter of the history of France is only one possible reading of what is also a history of women, “Forgotten victims of wars of all kinds and in all places”, even if, under the pen of Emmanuel Suarez, these women are determined not to be let go. The subject is close to his heart, he had already made a fiction out of it, Hortense, a young girl in the Great War, for the program “Gone with history”, by Stéphanie Duncan, on France Inter.
No wonder either that the production of this new series has been entrusted to Sophie-Aude Picon. The director, who had worked on his Corentin and recently signed a remarkable adaptation of the last volume of Millennium, immediately liked “The historical thriller side which takes as main hero a woman, played by the actress Claire Dumas, whom I adore”. All the actors are remarkable here: Bernadette Le Saché, for whom the role of Thérèse was written; Mathurin Voltz, alias Marc, the frozen lover of Claire, or even François de Brauer, who plays, brilliantly, the narrator in utero (Claire is pregnant).
“The embryo is me! “, could say Emmanuel Suarez. ” It is true. And then I wanted the listener to be as close as possible to my heroine, to be in the same state as her. A state of research, of desire for truth and surprise. ” And beautiful surprises, there will be plenty of them throughout this soap opera wonderfully written, embodied and set to sound. With The division, Emmanuel Suarez and Sophie-Aude Picon succeed in taking us on board, through a fiction with a historical dimension, on a gripping and poignant journey.