FAITHFUL—a swift, heartfelt procédurale based on Joseph Andras’ debut novel De nos frères blessés (Of Our Wounded Brothers, 2016)—tells the story of Fernand Iveton (played by Vincent Lacoste), a French national in 1950s Algeria. Atypical for Europeans of his time—he was a member of the local Communist Party and a supporter of the FLN—he numbered Arabs among his closest friends and abhorred the murderous racism of the occupying French forces.* Perhaps too much of a humanist to be a true revolutionary, Iveton participated in a 1956 plot to destroy a power station.
As filmed by Hélier Cisterne, FAITHFUL jumps between Iveton’s first Parisian encounters with his wife Hélène (Vicky Krieps), his life in Algiers with fellow activist and childhood friend Henri Maillot (Yoann Zimmer), and his trial for treason, subsequent imprisonment, and ultimate fate.
As part of this year’s virtual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival, FAITHFUL is streaming nationwide. See link below for details.
Directed by Hélier Cisterne.
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema
Film at Lincoln Center
Streaming through March 11.
*During the period of the Algerian Revolution (1954–1962), the FLN—Front de libération nationale—was the nationalist movement advocating for the removal of the French colonizers.
Hélier Cisterne, Faithful / Des nos frères blessés (2020), from top: Vincent Lacoste (center); Vicky Krieps and Lacoste; Lacoste and Krieps; Krieps Images courtesy and © Les Films du Bélier, photographs by Laurent Thurin-Nal.