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        Spanish film explores aftermath of 2015 Bataclan massacre

        2022-02-16 08:32:35 GMT2022-02-16 16:32:35(Beijing Time) Sina English
        From left: French actress Noemie Merlant, Spanish director Isaki Lacuesta and Argentine actor Nahuel Perez Biscayart walk the red carpet for the screening of One Year, One Night presented in competition during the 72nd Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on February 14, 2022. Photo: AFP  From left: French actress Noemie Merlant, Spanish director Isaki Lacuesta and Argentine actor Nahuel Perez Biscayart walk the red carpet for the screening of One Year, One Night presented in competition during the 72nd Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on February 14, 2022. Photo: AFP

        A Spanish film about the aftermath of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris premiered at the Berlin film festival on Monday, with the actors confessing it was "hard" to relive the trauma of the attack.

        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.

        'Emotionally charged'

        "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 concert hall 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."  

        For Argentine actor Perez, 35, it was "hard" to immerse himself in such a traumatic story. 

        "My body was full of emotions and sensations that were very complex," he said.

        French actress Merlant, 33, also spoke about the physical toll of making the film and the "back and forth" of drawing on her own experiences to render her character.

        Merlant, who was in Paris on the night of the "horrific" attack, said it was "important" to represent different ways of processing trauma.

        'Part never seen before'

        "Some people need to talk, to share in order to move forward in life and there are others who don't want to... There are no answers," she said.

        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 Bataclan 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'n'roll."

        The attack on the Bataclan was part of a wave of shootings and bomb attacks in the French capital on the night of November 13, 2015 by gunmen who claimed 130 lives. 

        Twenty defendants are on trial over the massacre in France, including the only surviving attacker, Salah Abdeslam, with the verdict expected in May.

        (Agencies)

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