The Plough by Philippe Garrel, in theatres from September 1423 August 2023
The Plough by Philippe Garrel, Silver Bear for Best Direction at the 73 rd Berlinale 2023, arrives in all the
theatres on September 14. It will be distributed in Italy by Minerva Pictures in cooperation with Altre
Starring Louis Garrel, Damien Mongin, Esther Garrel, Lena Garrel, Aurelien Recoing, Francine Bergé, Asma
Messaoudene, Mathilde Weil.
The Plough is a constellation. It is also a puppet theatre. This is the story of a family of puppeteers: the
siblings Louis, Martha and Lena; the father, who runs the company; and the grandmother who makes the
puppets. Together, they form a company and stage puppet shows. One day, after a show, the father dies of
a stroke, leaving his children alone.
“I wanted to make a film with my three children who recently, one after the other, have become actors
directed by other directors. I realize that depicting your family is a pleasure usually reserved for painters.
Since my children are 22, 30 and 38 years old, I had to find a reason to bring them together at their
respective ages. I’ve decided to represent a family of puppeteers that still exist today. When I was born,
before he became an actor, my father was a puppeteer in Gaston Baty’s company. My godfather, Alain
Recoing, performed in the company. I wrote the script with Jean-Claude Carrière, Arlette Langmann and
Caroline Deruas Peano. Every Saturday we rehearsed the scenes of the film and the puppet show. Gaston
Baty wrote these repertory scenes with Eloi Recoing, one of the sons of Alain Recoing. Baty was a member
of the “Cartel of the Four”, along with Louis Jouvet, Charles Dullin and Georges Pitoëff, and wrote and
staged for his puppet theater. When I was a boy, these artists were very poor, but I considered them kings. I
wanted to make a film that resembled a documentary about this profession, even though a product of my
imagination. Jean-Luc Godard said that a good fiction film must also be a documentary about something. In
the disintegration of a company of puppet artists, I see the metaphor of a world in which traditions are