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Cinema

Jean-Pascal Hattu

Ménage à trois

movie posterJimmy Milanese (JM): Alle Giornate degli Autori, Jean-Pascal Hattu presenta il suo primo lungometraggio. Thank you Jean-Pascal for accepting the interview. More than for the dialogues, this movie is touching because of the sound of silent. It’s a kind of echo from your soul, isn’t it?

Jean-Pascal Hattu (JPH): Yes, you are right; the film speaks both of silent and soul. It’s a story about a young woman who has difficulties keep on living her life, far from her husband, who is an inmate. The difficulties encountered by this woman are all in the fact that she lives far from her husband, tough she strongly wants to remain in contact with him and love him, of course. She manages to keep in contact with him, by visiting him in the prison and smelling her clothes. Moreover, she puts perfume on his cloths when she gives them at the prisoner’s warden. This way, she can continue to remain in contact with him, tough it is not enough. In fact, after she meets a warden in the prison, she chose this warden as a possibility for her to continue to remain in (ndr. Intellectual and sexual) contact with her husband. In a very particular way — through this warden — she remains in contact with her husband.

JM: Your film has three main characters: the prisoner, his wife and the warden. It seems to me that the only one who is really not in prison is the inmate. As in the movie he is trying to find some kind of escaping measure from depression.

JPH: Yes, at a certain point, the warden meets the prisoner who is quite older than him; a kind of big brother, a father or something similar. The warden is totally manipulated by the prisoner and through the story he suddenly fell in love with the prisoner’s wife. At the end of the movie he won’t be able to manage this affair anymore. Tough he works in but lives outside the jail; he slowly becomes prisoner of this couple. In fact, at the very beginning, the prisoner makes a deal with him;” go and look after my wife, have sex with her, so I will not miss her and remain in contact with her. If it comes by you, I will consider it all right”. At the end of the film, it is clear that he is exhausted by this curious affair, as there is no love in return by the wife. This is a very fragile story in which the warden wants to believe, as he realized he could love the woman he had love with. In a way, he forget that it is only a lover under contract and that the prisoner and the wife could decide when and how to end the game. The warden is the real prisoner of the game and when he leaves at the end of the film, he is disappointed and sad, but he knows that the love story couldn’t go further.

movie's scene

JM: From the women’s perspective, there is a hidden message, if you want. There isn’t any sex without love, but just from the women’s perspective, isn’t it?

JPH: I think that, for this woman sex without love gets complicated, as at the beginning of the film the real desire is that she wants to be touched and keep her skin alive, to remember that she is a woman that can be touched and exist. She is in a trouble, but imagine this guy is part of his husband. She somehow imagines that his husband senses what happens to her, when she has sex with the warden. She thinks that in a way, if she has sex with this warden, she will make his husband happy and satisfied, although he must be in the prison. In turn, she believes that the warden may be more gentle with her husband, by giving him more showers, more opportunities and comfortable things. In a way, you are right; no sex without love, but for this woman is complex because she has also to exist.

JM: This is a brilliant but dramatic story, with some kind of French humour. Do you think that Mister Chirac will watch this film or will be happy to watch this movie?

JPH: (laughing) Yes, in a way, I made mister Chirac dead for only five seconds therefore, I don’t think he will be mad or sad for that. I made him dead for just five second, that’s all.

JM: As you said in the press conference, to shot this movie you have been constantly in contact with prisoner’s wives, to explore what happen in their mind at a certain point. For what kind of reason? Is this a documentary approach?

JPH: Yes, I make documentary films, and I made also a documentary in a jail by meeting many wives who wants to spoke with me about their life and difficulties to live their relations with jailed husbands. Of course, this contributed to my story. They explained to me how they smell clothes, how the visiting room is an important place for them, as this is the only place where they may have contact with their husbands. This space is only a couple of square meters, and they must have imagination to think what could happen in 30 minutes in such a small room: how to touch and smell the other and give him the best in only 30 minute.

JM: In a sense, how to survive! And in order to survive, this is the very last question, you need to distribute the movie.

JPH: This will be a pyramid distribution, first in France and maybe in Italy and other countries later, but I don’t know how it will work.

Jean-Pascal Hattu

JM: What about your future plans?

JPH: About jail, again. A prisoner and psychiatry, but I will not tell more.

JM: It’s about jail and not in jail, that’s the good news. Thank you for the interview.

JPH: Thank you.

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