Success seemed guaranteed to him. For the release of his first feature film, Bigger Than Us documentary filmmaker Flore Vasseur had reason to be confident. She first had in her hands a golden subject: to the four corners of the world, she followed young activists who show unbelievable courage in the defense, in particular, of human rights, the climate and of freedom of expression. Then, his film had the honor of being selected for the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021, and was even screened during the Saturday evening session at 7 p.m. Flore Vasseur thus climbed the steps accompanied by the young people who testified in her film and by… Marion Cotillard, who co-produced the documentary, giving it an international aura. We have seen poorer promotion! Released in theaters on September 21, 2021, Bigger Than Us got off to a very good start. “The first week, we were doing very well,” remembers Flore Vasseur. But, barely ten days after its release, catastrophe: the documentary film is withdrawn from the program. “There was the health pass andspectators did not return to the cinema. Exhibitors wanted to fill their theaters and blockbusters, notably the new James Bond, have landed. We had to make room for them…” plague the director. His world collapsed. Several years of work reduced to nothing, she thinks. “It was a very cruel moment. »
Fortunately, the educational purpose of his film attracted the attention of unexpected allies: the household appliance and multimedia company Boulanger, which wanted to appear as a support for the “engaged youth” offered 100,000 places for Bigger Than Us to 100,000 young people under the age of 27. A gift from heaven. The film also conquered the Ministry of National Education, which sponsored it. Armed with this solid support, the director and her distributor, Jour2fête – which distributed François Ruffin’s documentaries – succeeded in convincing teachers to take their students to see the film in theaters reopened for the occasion. “We saw hundreds of children arriving in theaters by bus. » Finally, they tirelessly organized citizen screenings in amphitheatres, gymnasiums and even climbing gyms! System D, in short.