ONCE UPON A TIME… TCHAO PANTIN
|Writers||Serge July and Yann Le Gal|
|Editing||Julia Grégory and Joseph Licidé|
|Broadcasters||France 5 and Odyssée|
|Copyrights||Folamour Production / Odyssée / INA – 2003|
- Christian SPILLEMAECKER, associate producer
- Claude BERRI, director, producer
- Alain PAGE, author of the book “Tchao Pantin”
- Fred ROMANO, Coluche’s partner
- Paul LEDERMAN, producer
- Didier LAVERGNE, Coluche’s make-up artist
- Richard ANCONINA, actor
- Mahmoud ZEMMOURI, actor
- Agnès SORAL, actress
- Bruno NUYTTEN, director of photography
- Patrick BORDIER, stage manager
- Jacques ATTALI, advisor to François Mitterrand
- Pierre BENICHOU, journalist
Portrait of a film: Lambert (played by Coluche), an alcoholic and depressive night gas station attendant becomes friends with Youssef (played by Richard Anconina), a young drug dealer who gets murdered shortly afterwards. Having witnessed the murder, Lambert, who happens to be an ex-cop still struggling to cope with the death of his son by overdose, decides to avenge Youssef. He is helped in his quest by Youssef’s girlfriend, whom he slowly falls in love with. Shot in an old Parisian working-class neighbourhood, “Tchao Pantin” is the third collaboration between Claude Berri and Coluche, who wonderfully plays the tragic avenger. Released in 1983, the film was a hit with 3.8 million tickets sold and was awarded five Césars, including Best Actor for Coluche, Best Supporting Actor for Richard Anconina and Best Picture for Bruno Nuytten.
Portrait of an era: In 1983, France’s ruling left party takes drastic austerity measures. Unemployment soars. Many victims are killed in terrorist attacks in France and in the Middle East. Marches against racism and for equality proliferate in France. SOS Racism is created with the slogan “Don’t touch my buddy”. “Don’t touch my buddy” is already the subject of “Tchao Pantin”. In 1983, much like the character he plays in the film and like the film itself, Coluche is feeling blue. Yet he is at the height of his glory as a showman with his provocative and devastating style. But the ex-false candidate in the 1981 presidential election wants to stop playing music-hall, his wife has left him, his friend Patrick Dewaere has committed suicide the previous year, he has serious financial problems and he uses heroin.
Portrait of a filmmaker: Claude Berri is 51 years old when he directs “Tchao Pantin”, his twelfth feature film. An actor, screenwriter, director and producer, he is a leading force in French cinema. By the time he died in 2009, he will have directed or produced some of the biggest box-office hits in France. But at the time, the man behind “The Two of Us” was going through a difficult period. His wife, who will eventually commit suicide, is experiencing severe depression. “Tchao Pantin” is Berri’s first film. He will describe this film as “more personal” than his autobiographical films. From 1969 until Coluche’s death in 1985, Claude Berri and Coluche, ten years his junior, will cultivate a strong relationship.