Our men (Mon legionnaire)

Our men  (Mon legionnaire)
Running time:107 minutes
Director:Rachel Lang
Release date:Not communicated
They come from all over the world, but now they have one thing in common: the Foreign Legion, their new family. Mon L├ęgionnaire tells their stories: the stories of these women who fight to keep their love alive, the stories of these men who fight for France, and the stories of these couples who build their lives in hostile territory.

Mulder's Review

To Ina Marija Bartaité,

"How do soldiers returning from a mission find the intensity and cohesion they feel over there? how do they find their companions after months of absence? And then, later on, I wondered about those who are waiting for the return, how to bear this absence, the potentiality of death or injury? - Rachel Lang

Awarded two prizes at the Angoulême French Film Festival last August (Valois for the screenplay and Special Mention of the Jury), Rachel Lang's second feature film, written and directed by Rachel Lang, takes a real look at the Foreign Legion and prefers to go down the path of an intimate drama rather than a war film. Those who remember the film Legionnaire (1998) by Peter MacDonald with Jean Claude Van Damme and who expect a new action film may be destabilized because the orientation here of the film is not to show scenes of war in which danger is omnipresent but rather to understand how these soldiers live in their private life and the importance of their wives to find some personal balance.  

Our men shows the daily life of these men who seem to find in this foreign legion a way to exorcise their own demons and especially to give a real meaning to their lives. Rachel Lang's screenplay clearly shows the importance of women, whether they are married or companions to these soldiers. These women give them the will to continue, to fight for the right values and how love is at the very center of a soldier's unwavering will to succeed in his mission and return home safe. The focus of the film is particularly on two couples, Maxime (Louis Garrel) and Celine (Camille Cottin) and Vlad (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) and Nika (Ina Marija Bartaité). The action of the film takes place partly in Corsica but also in Mali, a country in West Africa where Islamist groups are spreading terror.

Rachel Lang seems to draw from her personal experience the main source of her second film Mon légionnaire (Our men).  Enlisted in the Army's operational reserve, she notably collaborated in the Barkhane operation in 2017 and thus masters to perfection the subject at the center of this film. By permanently putting the battlefields and the personal lives of the main characters, the film finds its rhythm and allows the main actors Louis Garrel, Camille Cottin, Ina Marija Bartaité, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, to deliver strong interpretations. Special mention to the young, beautiful and talented Ina Marija Bartaité who gives the film all its strength and weakness. Unfortunately, this is her last film because she died in a tragic accident. 

By signing a film approaching as much documentary as drama, the director Rachel Lang signs a strong and intimate film that shows us another look at the diversity of the Foreign Legion and the fact that these soldiers risk their lives every day and must not only find the strength to continue but also to build a private life giving them the desire to surpass themselves and stay alive.

Our men (My legionnaire)
Written and directed by Rachel Lang
Produced by Jérémy Forni, Benoit Roland
Starring Louis Garrel, Camille Cottin, Ina Marija Bartaité, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Naidra Ayadi, Léo Lévy, Jean Michelangeli, Edwin Gaffney, Jean Le Peltier, Wilfried Ranaivo, Lukas De Wolf, Grégoire Colin, Lucie Debay, Vladimir Ignat, Simona Trocan, Mowei-Jeannine Leroux, Alice Coulibaly-Chateaux, Paul De Bronde
Music by Odezenne
Cinematography : Fiona Braillon
Edited by Sophie Vercruysse
Production companies : Chevaldeuxtrois, Wrong Men North
Distributed by Bac Films (France)
Release date : October 6, 2021 (France)
Running time : 107 minutes

Seen on September 18, 2021 (press screener)

Mulder's Mark: