“It’s been 75 years old, but I weep for joy today as that day of 6 June 1944.” The actor Henri Garcin was 16 years old when the great army of the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate France, and then the rest of occupied Europe, from the nazis. In 2005, after having visited the historical places of the huge fight, he decided to make a short film dedicated to the memory of the brave soldiers of Overlord.
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As it could not and did not want to compete with the large frescos film like The longest day and saving private Ryan , Henri Garcin has the idea of putting the scene in a silent movie two French, apparently means, on the famous Utah Beach. One rêvera facing the sea, the other will seek the help of a metal detector relics of the great battle. It will soon be the amazing discovery of a small car buried in the sand…
For the 75th anniversary of the largest operation naval history, Henri Garcin has wanted to offer this tribute, which was never released in theaters, readers of Figaro . An opportunity for him to evoke the memory of two great players who have accompanied him in this adventure of historical memory, Michel Galabru and Darry Cowl.
LE FIGARO. – Why have you wanted to make a tribute to the heroes of June 6, 1944?
Henri GARCIN – Because the memory of my father, who translated for all the family news Radio-London, is anchored forever in my memory. He cried like I cry, today, to the evocation of this moment (long silence) . Years after, I went on the beaches of Normandy. Everything is back up to the surface. I réentendais dad who translated from English into Dutch ( Henri Garcin born Anton Albers is of Dutch origin, editor’s note ), the comments that follow feverishly on a position of TSF. I was going over young men who came to face a formidable foe that awaited them in his blockhouse. It was a sacred courage and the world owes them a lot. I thought of it all on this beach when I saw a guy who was looking I do not know what in the sand with a metal detector. This vision gave me the idea for my film.
Your hero is armed with his metal detector, camped by Darry Cowl, will discover, hidden in the sand in a kind of Rosebud…
In my mind, it was necessary that this beach has a symbol, irrefutable and at the same time almost amazing, of the victory of the allies over the Third Reich. For me, this object was the Jeep. In my eyes, she is the star of the Day-J. And Jessie, I sell the drill bit, but whatever, it is a Jeep, this cart a quick, handy, unpretentious, used by the chiefs as by the soldiers, who will reverse the blitzkrieg. This vehicle is elusive, David could beat Goliath.
You choose to make a silent film and yet you take two actors, Galabru and Darry Cowl, which, in different registers, have a sacred loquacity. Why?
Because they have other qualities that their spread! These two actors to me were first recommended by my friend, sadly gone, Jacques François. The great producer André Guéret, who had made me trust, for its part, had insisted that I take two strong personalities. Michel Galabru and Darry Cowl are what are called characters. And they understood both what I wanted to do and have immediately accepted to follow me. They wanted to also pay tribute to the soldiers of the 6 June. It is true that I have often wondered why the two men do not speak. Well, in the silence and solitude of this huge and deserted beach, facing the infinite ocean, I found every word as unnecessary and even unfortunate. I preferred to tell a very short story, very beautiful, very moving only with images. At the same time, I wanted to give Galabru and Darry Cowl the opportunity, for once, not to be uproarious. They told me a lot thanked.
● Jessie of Henri Garcin in 2005, with Darry Cowl Michel Galabru
● behind the scenes of The filming of Jessie of Henri Garcin