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Female Agents

Les femmes de l'ombre

FEATURE FILM 121'
Action/Adventure / War / Drama

A thrilling wartime adventure starring Sophie Marceau. Inspired by real-life characters.
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Directed by

Jean-Paul Salomé (Arsene Lupin, Belphegor)

Starring

Déborah François (The Child, La Tourneuse de Pages)
Julie Depardieu (The Yellow Eyes of The Crocodiles, A Secret, Killer by the Lake, Female Agents)
Marie Gillain (On Guard !, The Bait)
Maya Sansa (Buongiorno, Notte, La Meglio Gioventu)
Moritz Bleibtreu (The Baader Meinhof Complex, Female Agents, The Elementary Particles - Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival 2006, Munich)
Sophie Marceau (Anthony Zimmer, The World Is Not Enough, Braveheart, Belphegor)

Production

Eric Névé – La Chauve-Souris (Crime Insiders, Dobermann)

2007 / Original language: French, English, German / Color / 1.85 / Dolby SRD / available in hd & 2k

May 1944. A five-woman commando unit parachutes into occupied France on a daring and dangerous mission to protect the secret of the D-Day Landings and eliminate Colonel Heindrich, the head of German counter-intelligence.
Louise (Sophie Marceau) is a trained sniper and the widow of a Resistance leader.
Jeanne (Julie Depardieu) is a tough hooker who won’t hesitate to kill.
Gaëlle is a young and brilliant explosives expert desperate to see some action.
Suzy (Laura Smet) is a stunning former showgirl and Heindrich’s one-time lover.
Maria (Maya Sansa) is an Italian contessa undercover with the French Resistance.
Female Agents is an action-packed tribute to the real-life espionage operatives whose exploits inspired the film.

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LOUISE - Sophie Marceau
Anthony Zimmer
The World Is Not Enough
Braveheart
Belphegor
Midnight Summer Dream
D’Artagnan’s Daughter


SUZIE - Marie Gillain
On Guard !
The Bait


JEANNE - Julie Depardieu
A Very Long Engagement
Poltergay
Little Lili (2005 Cesar Awards, Most Promising Actress and Best
Supporting Actress)


MARIA - Maya Sansa
Buongiorno, Notte (2004 David di Donatello Award nomination, Best Actress – 2004 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, nomination for Best Actress)
La Meglio Gioventu (2004 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, Best Actress)


GAELLE - Déborah François
The Child (2006 Cesar Award nomination, Most Promising Actress
La Tourneuse De Pages)


HEINDRICH - Moritz Bleibtreu
The Elementary Particles (2006 Berlin International Film Festival, Best Actor – 2005 German Film Award nomination, Best Actor)
Munich
The Experiment (2001 German Film Awards, German Actor of the Year and Best Supporting Actor)
Knocking On Heaven’s Door (1997 German Film Awards, Best Supporting Actor – 1988 Ernst Lubitsch Award)


PIERRE - Julien Boisselier
Je Vais Bien, Ne T’En Fais Pas


BECKER - Volker Bruch

Written by
Jean-Paul Salomé and Laurent Vachaud
(Arsene Lupin)

Director
Jean-Paul Salomé
(Arsene Lupin, Belphegor)

Producer
Eric Névé – La Chauve-Souris
(Crime Insiders, Spybound, Dobermann)

DoP
Pascal Ridao
(Arsene Lupin)

Editor
Marie-Pierre Renaud
(Arsene Lupin, The Kite)

Art director
Françoise Dupertuis
(Arsene Lupin)

Costumes
Pierre-Jean Larroque
(Tiger Brigades, Arsene Lupin - 2005 Cesar Award nomination - Best Costumes, Toulouse-Lautrec - 1999 Cesar Award - Best
Costumes, The Lady and the Duke)

Music
Bruno Coulais
(Chorists - 2005 Academy Award nomination – Best Music; 2005 BAFTA Award nomination - Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music ; 2005 Cesar Award – Best Music; 2004 European Film Award – Best
Composer, Spybound, Belphegor, The Crimson Rivers - 2001 Cesar Award nomination - Best Music Award, Vidocq, Winged Migration - 2002 Cesar Award nomination – Best Music, The Himalaya – A Chief’s Childhood - 2000 Cesar Award – Best Music, Microcosmos - 1997 Cesar Award – Best Music, Harrison’s Flowers)

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"First, there was an article I read in The Times in London one morning when I was working on the post-production of Arsène Lupin. It was a full page devoted to Lise Villameur, a French Resistance agent who worked for the SOE, the Special Operations Executive created by Winston Churchill during the Second World War. She had just died at the age of 98."

DIRECTOR'S NOTE

She had been a real heroine and Britain paid tribute to her. Intrigued by her story, I started doing some research with the help of historian Olivier Wieviorka. I discovered that other women had been SOE agents. They were among the fifty or so agents of the "French Section" and were trained in England before working for the Allies in occupied France.
These women gave the lie to the movie cliché of women in the Resistance carrying hand grenades in the basket of their bicycle. A far more impressive picture emerged of women carrying out the same kind of operations as men.
That's why I wanted to make Femmes de l'ombre a thriller in which female characters would reveal their true selves in the heat of action. I wrote the screenplay with Laurent Vachaud and my immersion in this period of history made me aware of two important values: patriotism and heroism. We sometimes forget that the people who fought the occupiers during World War Two were the children or grandchildren of those who, twenty-five years earlier, had defended their country, the land of human rights, and their freedoms. It was a very strong ideal and memories were still so present that they refused to give in!
I also want to say that among those who joined the Resistance, there were a lot of young people, who didn't think twice about risking their lives even though they had so much left to live. That is an incredibly intense dramatic concept!
All these notions might seem surrealistic today to people of my generation or that of my children. For the majority of us, the ultimate patriotic act is to vote or pay taxes. It was only after I finished writing that I began to understand what my grandfather used to tell me.
And finally, I want this film to be about women, for their mystery is a true inspiration to me as a filmmaker. I want to pay tribute to the women who displayed exceptional courage and who, to my knowledge, received less honors after the war than their male companions.

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Convincing performances from Sophie Marceau and a group of wonderful actresses as French Resistance fighters combating the Nazi occupation. A historical thriller that singularly emphasizes the need for convictions.
MARIE CLAIRE

The casting is intentionally mouth-watering and it does a fine job. (...) A supremely assured performance by Sophie Marceau (...) Julie Depardieu in impressive form (...) Marie Gillain is resplendent.
A major role that (Sophie Marceau) approaches with great restraint.
STUDIO

Alongside Sophie Marceau are proven talents, such as Marie Gillain, Julie Depardieu and Déborah François. (...) Jean-Paul Salomé's delivers a fine film -- mainstream in the finest sense of the word -- with a credible plot.
L'HISTOIRE

Beautiful recruits preparing the way for the Normandy Landings!
CINE LIVE

Heroism and patriotism in the feminine.
LE PROGRES

Sophie Marceau, Marie Gillain, Julie Depardieu... The pride of French cinema is on screen.
PUBLIC

La crème de la crème of French cinema: Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu, Marie Gillain, Déborah François, Maya Sansa, Julien Boisselier and Vincent Rottiers.
METRO

A dazzling cast!
FEMME ACTUELLE

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Available in :

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Italian