Tuesday, 03.10., 5:15 p.m., Cinecittà
What role should an artist play in times of terror and tyranny? That's the central question of this celebrated biopic about the exceptionally gifted jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. He faced this question when the Nazis wanted to instrumentalize his popularity during the Second World War.
Django Reinhardt's gypsy swing was very popular in occupied Paris in 1943. Even the Nazis liked him and wanted to instrumentalize his music. Django Reinhardt's popularity kept him safe while thousands of other Roma and Sinti were being persecuted and murdered across Europe. After refusing to go on a tour of Germany, he tried to escape to Switzerland with his pregnant wife and mother. They were sent back from the border. This historical biopic, which features wonderful musical and an astounding Reta Katebs in the lead role, opened this year's Berlinale.
After graduating from the Parisian film school La Fémis, he began working at Erato Films as a production manager on films including Boris Godunov by Andrzej Zulawski and Van Gogh by Maurice Pialat. He then produced 15 feature films with Playtime and Vendôme Production before, in 2009, moving to Arches Films to work as a screenwriter and producer on titles such as Of Gods and Men by Xavier Beauvois and My King by Maïwenn. Django is his first feature film as a director.