"Almost": Bernard Campan and Alexandre Jollien in a road movie on the quest for oneself

Brought together for the first time on screen and in directing, the actor and the philosopher deliver in Almost a road movie about friendship and self-discovery.

“We started from what we are to make a fiction”: reunited for the first time on the screen and in the realization, the actor Bernard Campan and the philosopher Alexandre Jollien deliver in Almost a road movie about friendship and self-discovery.

It all started with a common desire, “several years ago”, confide the two companions, during an interview with AFP. From this desire was born Almost, the sixth feature film – in theaters on Wednesday – by the former member of the Unknowns, a mythical trio from the 1990s who will soon be reforming for a film.

“It took us a long time to embark on the project because Alexandre wanted to take the risk of playing. And playing means exposing himself to criticism and judgment”, explains Bernard Campan.

Alexandre is Alexandre Jollien, 46, Swiss philosopher and successful author born with cerebral palsy following a strangulation by the umbilical cord in his mother’s womb.

His first book, praise of weakness, where he recounts his journey towards philosophy and criticizes the banishment of people with disabilities in specialized institutions – where he himself lived from the age of 3 to 20 -, revealed it to the general public.

“Jubilatory”

It was also during a television appearance that Bernard Campan discovered him and made contact with him. From this meeting will be born their friendship.

In 2007, he worked on the script for the film The dark side, directed by the ex-actor of Unknowns: “I was on a script that gave me problems and Alexandre helped me. He held out his hand to me and never let go”, recalls Bernard Campan .

In Almost – his first role in the cinema -, Alexandre Jollien interprets Igor, a quadra handicapped and fond of philosophy. To earn a living, he delivers organic vegetables by bike. But fate makes him cross paths with Louis (Bernard Campan), an undertaker who takes him on a journey from Lausanne to the south of France.

Friendship, death, disability, sex, the gaze of others… the film, stuffed with sequence shots as if to allow the viewer to travel with the two actors, seizes, without taboo, tough subjects that it treats with great of humor.

A fiction largely inspired by their own story: “When Alexandre had this idea, namely to start from us, from what made our friendship, I said to myself that it was obvious. Starting from what we are for to make a fiction, it’s just jubilant”, details Bernard Campan.

Standing Judgment

“Friendship, perhaps more than a couple, is a philosophy. It’s unconditional love and it’s perfecting together at any age. A perfect theme for a film!” Enthuses the philosopher .

Not only an ode to improbable friendships, the film also denounces a society of permanent judgment, where difference remains scrutinized, sometimes mocked, and calls for ignoring the gaze of others, in order to live better.

“We wanted to take a step aside to look at things calmly, serenely, and not be in the conditioning in which we all live, to have an opinion on everything right away. And that goes against of the period in which we live”, supports the ex-actor of the Unknowns.

“It’s also a film that talks about the inner life. If it can make people want to look back on themselves and get out of the a priori on others, it will already be not bad”, abounds the writer.

Disarming naturally on screen, Alexandre Jollien confides, however, that his first acting experience was not easy: “Receiving directives, injunctions, it brought back things from my childhood … Still, to have been led by a friend is an incredible experience”.

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