COME WHAT MAY / En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait
West Coast Premiere • Drama, History • France, 2015
DCP • 2.40 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 114 min
Directed by: Christian Carion
Written by: Andrew Bampfield, Christian Carion, Laure Irrmann
Cinematography: Pierre Cottereau
Film Editing: Laure Gardette
Original Score: Ennio Morricone
Produced by: Christophe Roussignon (Nord-Ouest Films)
Cast: August Diehl (Hans), Olivier Gourmet (Paul), Mathilde Seigner (Mado), Alice Isaaz (Suzanne), Matthew Rhys (Percy)
International Sales: Pathé Distribution
US Distributor: Cohen Media Group • cohenmedia.net
War films tend to tell stories about political leaders, or the soldiers who carry out their orders. Come What May examines the effects of war on more ordinary citizens, a timely subject in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis. It’s 1940; German Panzers are smashing through the Ardennes forest on their way to France. Eight million people flee – the largest exodus in modern history. Among them are Paul, the mayor of a small village, and Suzanne, a young schoolteacher and surrogate mother to Max, a displaced German boy. They organize the charge to abandon the town and head for the safety of the coast. It’s a heavy decision, because taking their caravan on the open roads leaves them defenseless against German attack. At the same time, Max’s father Hans, who fled the Nazi regime and was subsequently imprisoned in France, sets out to look for his son, accompanied by Scottish soldier Percy (The Americans star Matthew Rhys), who hopes to repatriate a set of bagpipes with the retreating British army. An intimate story, told on an epic scale, and with an expansive score by the maestro of film music, Academy Award winner Ennio Morricone.
Known for making historical tapestries based on true stories, writer/director Christian Carion stepped onto the international stage with his feel-good WWI film Joyeux Noel (2005), in which soldiers in the trenches lay down their arms for one day to celebrate Christmas with the enemy. His gripping thriller Farewell (COLCOA 2010), went back to the Cold War and featured filmmakers Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canet as spies passing Soviet secrets to the West. Carion was born into a farming family and initially went in that direction professionally. After meeting fellow film enthusiast Christophe Rossignon, now a prominent producer, the two of them decided to dedicate their lives to filmmaking. Co-writer Andrew Bampfield is an established writer for French TV, known for Inside The Twin Towers (2006). This is the first writing credit for co-writer Laure Irrmann.