The story of a young Senegalese man captured in his village in 1917 to serve alongside the French in World War One has opened the ‘Cannes Film Festival ” a certain regard” category.
” Tirailleurs” features Omar Sy (SEE), star of the Netflix series Lupine, as his father who also enlists in order to watch over his son.
The film, also known as Father and Soldier is shot with a hand-held camera and shows the horror of war for these men and thousands of African fighters who were torn from their native Africa to fight on the front line, in a cold and unknown region, under the French uniform.
According to the festival’s director Thierry Frémaux the film arrived late in the selection, but it conquered the public on its opening night.
Beyond the horror of war, the film puts the tormented relationship of a father and his son at the center of his film. The father who just wants to bring his boy home alive, and the son who has been galvanized by military ambition and threatens to escape him.
This film is also an opportunity to remind that – according to various sources – at least 30,000 African fighters died for France on the battlefields during the First World War.