Sexually abused in childhood, then doubts and drugs, borderline roles, suicide at 35: “Patrick Dewaere, my hero” is a poignant documentary about this incandescent actor, told by his daughter Lola and presented at the Cannes Film Festival in May last, as part of “Cannes Classics-documentaries on cinema. »
Fragments of the story of the actor, who burst the screen by opening the door to his demons in “Black Series”, had already been delivered over the years. In the pages of a biography or interviews. Like Gérard Depardieu confident of being aware of the abuse of a pedophile during the childhood of his friend from “Valseuses”.
It is the actor’s daughter, Lola (2 years old when her father died, 42 years old today), who hangs up the wagons in voiceover. The actress appears between archive images and unpublished audio sequences in the process of assembling the pieces of a puzzle forming the face of her father. “It was not easy to tell this story, to make this voice, I am a little moved”, she slipped into the microphone in front of the public during the screening of the documentary in Cannes.
“A Mountain of Emotions”
Patrice Gellé, producer, warns: “This film is a mountain of emotions, like a life on the wire, it is a film which will not leave you unscathed”. From the first images, Lola Dewaere indicates that she took “between four eyes” her grandmother, mother of her father, before the death of the latter. “And she ended up confessing everything to me.” Addressing her father symbolically, Lola announces: “During your childhood, you suffered repeated sexual touching and rape (..) which screwed you up forever”. The predator is never named but the family circle is targeted. “Scared in your stomach, you suffered this incest with, perhaps, already, deep inside you, the desire to end it. Your mother, she preferred to close her eyes. »
Fossey, Blier, Annaud
This seals a destiny (personal depreciation, heroin addiction) already burdened with a complicated genesis. Member of a family of six children, Patrick Dewaere will learn, in the course of a conversation, that the one who raises him is not his biological father, whose identity he does not know. His mother, and the father who raised him, are presented in the documentary as “Thénardiers”, pushing their children to run for theater, television or cinema castings.
Lola Dewaere explains, in the documentary, that the money from their fees was used, without the children being aware of it, to buy a house that they had to fix up. And to describe young Patrick falling asleep from exhaustion in a wheelbarrow, trowel in hand.
Actress Brigitte Fossey, who was also a child actress, remembers in the documentary having met him for the first time on a set at the age of nine, with this family label of working child actors. tirelessly. She will come across him again as an adult in “Les valseuses” or “A bad son”. Precious and sensitive testimonies are scattered throughout the film, such as those of Bertrand Blier (who directed Dewaere in “Les valseuses”, “Prepare your handkerchiefs”, “Beau-père”), Francis Huster, also a victim of child pedophilia, or even Jean- Jacques Annaud (who filmed him in “Coup de tête” and was his friend). Without forgetting Claude Lelouch, with whom he was preparing a film on Marcel Cerdan and Edith Piaf the day of his suicide. A last day when it comes to Coluche and the rifle he had given him.