The case is now well known. About twenty years ago, couturier Pierre Cardin, “the stone collector”, fell in love with Lacoste, a charming little village in the Luberon. There he bought the castle of the Marquis de Sade, which threatened ruin, and renovated it at great cost.
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He organizes a lyric art festival there, aims to do “ a Saint-Tropez of culture “, Bought one by one the houses of the town – he now owns 40 – and hectares of surrounding land to create a golf course. Since then, little or nothing. Lacoste is nothing more than a sleepy village whose homes and businesses remain resolutely closed.
The newspaper filmed of an unequal and lonely fight
Cyril Montana, writer and communications professional, has an emotional bond with this village where his hippie parents lived a few years and where his grandmother eventually settled. There are still childhood friends and knows the artists who have taken up residence there. When his son Grégoire challenged him, the Parisian bohemian, to join forces to fight the couturier’s grip, he took his word for it and chose with his accomplice Thomas Bornot, to film the adventure.
The resulting documentary, funded in a participatory manner and broadcast in e-cinema on the 25th Hour platform, is the journal of this fight. An unequal, but above all lonely fight since it will not cease to meet with contempt from one, Pierre Cardin, and the indifference of the others, the inhabitants of the village.
The interest of the documentary is that it hides nothing, neither of the narcissism of its author, whose approach may seem annoying at the outset, nor of its failures and disappointments. It is filmed with lucidity and humor and, above all, offers us a fascinating reflection on the meaning and the possibility of engagement at a time when globalization has offered power to the “very wealthy”.
Beyond the case of Lacoste which he recalls, exhuming archive images, that he was a village welcoming artists from around the world long before the arrival of Pierre Cardin, he wonders: can a man buy a village? “, Consults experts on the relationship between private property and the public interest, examines the different types of mobilization in the world like the pacifist marches for the land in India. When the law is on the money side, it seems to tell us in conclusion, only utopia remains.