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Estonian film puts Jeanne Moreau up in lights at Locarno Festival

BC, Tallinn, 06.08.2012.Print version

French actress Jeanne Moreau lights up the big screen at the Locarno Film Festival Saturday in a film inspired by a story of friendship between two Estonian women in Paris, the news agency AFP reported during the week-end.


Estonian filmmaker Ilmar Raag based "An Estonian in Paris" on the story of his mother, who came to the French capital in the 1990s to look after a suicidal woman, writes LETA.


Raag explained: "I was studying in Paris at the time and I heard about an elderly Estonian women living there who had made two suicide attempts. Someone needed to be found to look after her and I thought of my mother."


Once in Paris, his mother, Anne, felt "happy like never before", Raag said.


Some 300 Estonians lived in Paris in the 1990s – now the population numbers around 1,000 and includes a large number of artists of all kinds.


"Serious Estonians leave for the US, Canada and Germany, where they can earn a lot of money. Artists come to Paris," said Raag.


The now 84-year-old Moreau takes on the role of Frida, once a "free spirit" herself, while Anne is played by Laine Magi.


Working with Moreau was something of a learning curve for Raag, he said.


"Filming with Jeanne Moreau wasn't easy. She is not just an actress, she also read the scripts before filming and suggested changes the next day," he explained.


The festival runs until August 11.

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