CEASE-FIRE / Cessez-le-feu


North American Premiere • Drama • France, 2017

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 103 min

Written and Directed by: Emmanuel Courcol

Cinematography: Tom Stern, Yann Maritaud     

Film Editing: Guerric Catala, Géraldine Rétif

Original Score: Jérôme Lemonnier

Produced by: Christophe Mazodier (Polaris Film Production & Finance), France 2 Cinéma, Adhésive Production, Apaloosa Distribution

Cast: Romain Duris (Georges Laffont), Céline Sallette (Hélène), Grégory Gadebois  (Marcel Laffont), Julie-Marie Parmentier (Madeleine) Maryvonne Schiltz  (Louise Laffont), Wabinlé Nabié (Diofo)

International Sales: Indie Sales Company


This classically elegant period drama explores the aftermath of war through the struggles of a French family to resume normal life after the traumas of WWI. Romain Duris puts on a rakish front as Georges Laffont, a man who has lost his way after horrific trench warfare leaves him emotionally scarred. It’s the beginning of the roaring 20s, but the era’s carefree decadence doesn’t touch the Laffonts. They are still reeling from the loss of an eldest son, gone missing on the field of battle, and the travails of Georges’ third brother, Marcel, who has returned from the war unable to speak or hear. Rather than confronting his own shellshock, Georges retreats to the Upper Volta colony of West Africa. There he roams the countryside recruiting laborers for Ghanaian plantations and spinning tales of the Great War with the aid of Diofo, another war survivor. But Georges’ aimless existence gets a course correction in the form of Marcel’s kindly and attractive sign language teacher Hélène.


Although this is the first feature by writer/director Emmanuel Courcol, his career in film spans some 25 years. After studying law, Courcol was bitten by the theater bug and spent several years acting for the stage. In the early 1990s he began to appear in feature films in secondary and supporting roles. A decade later he began a successful writing collaboration with director Philippe Lioret. They collaborated on four features, including Welcome (COLCOA 2009 Audience Award winner), for which both were nominated for a Best Original Screenplay César, along with Olivier Adam. For Courcol, whose grandfather fought in the trenches, the Great War is part of his own family story.