“Les Combattantes” series: women in turmoil

After Le Bazar de la Charit, TF1 returns with a great historical saga in costumes worn by the trio Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou and Julie de Bona.

Historical fresco retracing the story of the fire of a Parisian department store in 1897, The Bazaar of La Charit had gathered 8.4 million viewers in November 2019. A television success on which TF1 and its director Alexandre Laurent could logically only surf.

It is therefore not surprising to find the winning trio of the cast, namely Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou and Julie De Bona, in this new saga in costumes following the journey of three women in turmoil. Except that in reality we hadn’t expected the success of the Bazaar to embark on the creation of Fighters, Alexandre Laurent is having fun today. We hadn’t finished filming when producer Iris Bucher (Quad Drama) came to see me with this new story brought by screenwriter Ccile Lorne. I read the fifteen pages of the synopsis and I said banco. I have about TF1 and Iris that we immediately get down to work to complete the project in two years. Finally, it took us two and a half years because of the Covid and the confinements, compared to four for It’s a mess.

The women
war 14-18

The trio of actresses was also in demand from the start. I said yes right away, just on the pitch and without knowing what role they were going to offer me, because I have complete confidence in Alexandre Laurentsays Julie de Bona. He is a director who knows how to get me out of my comfort zone. This is her third series with him. each time I discover a little more about myself and my emotional abilities in terms of actingshe explains. When he asked me to play the role of the mother superior of a convent, I was afraid of not being up to it, of not succeeding in making these impalpable things that are spirituality and doubts about his faith. what the character goes through. As I had believed that I would not succeed in playing the role of Rose in It’s a mess, whose lack of expression due to the burns on his face forced me to put all his emotions in the eyes. And finally I got there (laughs) and I am proud of the result.
This new series, articulated in eight fifty-two minute episodes, follows the destinies of four women during the First World War. The story begins in September 1914, in the Vosges. Initially, the story was written for three heroines – a prostitute (Audrey Fleurot), a nun (Julie de Bona) and a nurse (Camille Lou), explains the director. The fourth character, the wife of a car manufacturer played by Sofia Essadi, came during the development of the project.
The producer Iris Bucher was keen to highlight the role of these women who found themselves in the factories or at the head of their husband’s companies, and who continued to make the country go round with their work. We wanted to show how the First World War had contributed to the evolution of women’s rights, but who paradoxically found themselves slowed down at the end of the war with the return of men from the front, who had to be reintegrated into society., continues the director. He wanted filming these little moments that underline the gain in self-confidence of these women and their emancipation, like when the character of Camille performs her first suture.

A fiction
who follows the story

The series thus evokes the advances in surgery, the technological evolution of weapons and industry in this pivotal period of the modern era.
It is not a historical film and it is assumedclaims Alexandre Laurent. On the other hand, we worked a lot with two historians, including a specialist in feminism and the evolution of women’s rights between 1914 and 1918, to be as close as possible to the time, and we sometimes took a few slaps from them . For example, we made a character use a weapon who, chronologically, is three months ahead of the story. The series also calls into question the functioning of the Church, whose separation from the state only existed for less than ten years. The director insists: The goal is not to denigrate believers. In sum, The Fighters allows us to revisit our history through existential and societal questions that are still topical.

Les Combattantes broadcasts on TF1 from Monday, September 19, 9 p.m. Two episodes every Monday.

“Les Combattantes” series: women in turmoil