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IN PICTURES: Filming for new Charles de Gaulle biopic takes Paris back in time

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IN PICTURES: Filming for new Charles de Gaulle biopic takes Paris back in time
Actors and extras get ready for the shooting of a biopic film on French soldier, French resistance leader and statesman Charles de Gaulle in Paris in August 2023 (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

Filming for a new movie centred around the life of resistance leader Charles de Gaulle has begun in Paris, taking parts of the city back in time.


Tourists and locals alike have been wondering why tanks, vintage cars and people dressed in World War II military uniforms have been popping up across Paris in recent weeks.

While it may feel as if you were transported back in time to Paris in the 1940s, all of the people in period-outfits are in fact extras on a new film telling the life story of French resistance leader and (and later president) Charles de Gaulle.

Filing has mainly taken place in central Paris around Hotel de Ville and in the Marais area.

According to Actu France, the biopic has been filming for several weeks already, with some parts to be shot in the Manche département in Normandy. 

French media have reported that the film, which could end up being split into two parts, will be titled 'La France libre' (Free France). It is being directed by Antonin Baudry and produced by Pathé.


French-Armenian Actor Simon Abkarian is slated to play the role of de Gaulle. 


The script is primarily based on a book by the British historian, Julian Jackson, titled "A Certain Idea of France: The Life of Charles de Gaulle" which traces the general's rise to power in the early 1940s.

It will focus mainly on 1940-44, when the General was in London coordinating French resistance to the Nazi occupation. 


The film will reportedly also explore de Gaulle's relationship with British prime minister Winston Churchill, as well as his attempts to liberate France from Nazi rule via its North African colonies. Some filming is expected to take place in Morocco.


While casting announcements have not formally been made, prominent French actors such as Niels Schneider (playing General Leclerc) as well as Thierry Lhermitte and Karim Leklou are believed to be involved.


The film is tentatively scheduled for a release in February 2025, according to French media.

If you can't wait until then for a biopic of a famous Frenchman, the Ridley-Scott directed Napoleon hits cinemas this autumn. 



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