Spanish film explores trauma of Bataclan massacre
A Spanish film about the aftermath of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris premiered at the Berlin film festival on Feb. 14 with the actors confessing it was “hard” to relive the trauma.
“One Year, One Night,” directed by Isaki Lacuesta, is one of 18 contenders for the Golden Bear top prize at the 72nd Berlin film festival.
The movie stars Nahuel Perez Biscayart and Noemie Merlant as Ramon and Celine, a young couple who survive the attack but struggle to piece their lives back together.
Ramon wants to talk about what happened and write everything down, while Celine wants to forget and copes by immersing herself in her job as a social worker.
From the morning after the attack when Celine coolly opens her laptop to order groceries while Ramon lies in bed, it’s clear the two characters represent very different ways of dealing with trauma.
Producer Ramon Campos said Monday he was inspired to make the film after being in Paris on the night of the deadly Bataclan attack.
“I found myself wandering alone around the city, in the streets, there was silence, there was distrust between people, and that made an impression on me,” he said.
He later read a book called “Peace, Love and Death Metal” by Ramon Gonzalez, a Spanish man who was at the Bataclan with his girlfriend and other friends on the night of the attacks.
The real Ramon and Celine were involved in the making of the film, an experience that was “particularly emotionally charged,” according to director Lacuesta.
They had “lived through this experience in a totally different way” but agreed about one thing, he said: “They wanted to avoid the word ’survivors’ because they wanted to live, not just survive.”
The film intersperses flashbacks of what happened on the night with scenes from the present as Ramon and Celine career through changing friendships and doubts about their own relationship.
Director Lacuesta said this structure was chosen partly to avoid focusing on the gory details of the attack. “We felt that would have been a betrayal of the people who were there,” he said.
Instead, he wanted to highlight “the part that we had never seen before, how they try to learn to live again and above all how they try not to give up sex, love and rock and roll.”