“The Third War”: France on the verge of implosion filmed by Giovanni Aloi


So what is this war evoked from the title of the first feature film by young Italian director Giovanni Aloi, shot in France and in French? No longer the traditional war with its front lines and its declared antagonisms, but an invisible, diffuse, integrated war, capable of breaking out anywhere and at any time. The very one that Manuel Valls in 2015 called “war on terror”, following a George W. Bush who, in the aftermath of September 11, spoke squarely of “war on terror”. In other words, against an idea, an abstraction. France would go well, through the voice of its president, to declare “war” on a virus. Symptom of a century where the threat, omnipresent and disembodied, resides at the same time everywhere and nowhere, even in the air we breathe.

Less than a subject to be treated, it is a social malaise that thus seeks to diagnose The Third War, that of a France on the verge of implosion. For this, Giovanni Aloi and his screenwriter Damien Baumard adopt a strategic point of view and very judiciously decentralized on French society: that of the soldiers of Operation “Sentinel” who patrol the national territory to strengthen the feeling of civil security, and intervene if necessary in support of the Vigipirate plan.

The success of the film is due first of all to the subtle dialectic that it sets up between the outside and the inside.

Léo Corvard (Anthony Bajon), blue with babyish airs, freshly landed from his native Vendée, is assigned to Paris as part of the device in question. Regularly, he beats the pavement of the capital alongside two or three companions, the weapon slung over his shoulder, under the command of Yasmine (Leïla Bekhti), their sergeant. All walk on the lookout for the slightest disturbance or suspicious sign indicating a potential attack. In the barracks as on leave, this tension never leaves them completely, and even resonates with the liabilities or the frustrations of each.

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The success of the film is due first of all to the subtle dialectic that it sets up between the outside and the inside. Inside, it’s life in the barracks with its willingly schoolboy slang, its gregarious habits with a strong male dominance, its occasional drifts (demonstrations of force, bullying, search for the scapegoat, in this case a poor clumsy soldier named Ortioni) , but also the example it produces of a true French melting pot, its ability to generate fraternity through the uniform.

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