“Silence so noisy”, on M6: Emmanuelle Béart gives voice to victims of incest

Here it is finally, this documentary that everyone is talking about but that (almost) no one has seen yet

“Silence so noisy”, on M6: Emmanuelle Béart gives voice to victims of incest

Here it is finally, this documentary that everyone is talking about but that (almost) no one has seen yet. This film where actress Emmanuelle Béart speaks to break the “so noisy silence” in which, like so many victims of incest, she recognizes that she had been locked away since her adolescence.

The one who was Caesarized at 23 for Manon des Sources (1986), in 1987, played her most beautiful role at 60: herself. In a delicate production by Anastasia Mikova, who was able to convince her that a documentary was “the fairest format” – and the most powerful, broadcast on a major channel to reach a vast audience, to encourage the millions of victims to speak, finally. As do the four people, three women and a man, who testify openly in front of the camera.

One of the striking scenes shows the actress, facing a peaceful lake, in an accomplice dialogue with a teenage girl who was abused by her father between the ages of 4 and 8. Like a generational passing of the baton. This film, confides Emmanuelle Béart in a soft voice, “I made it out of love for the child that I was”.

Procedure and denial

The four “anonymous people”, of whom only their first names are mentioned, tell us about the children they too were. These “circles of silence” – personal, family, societal – that took time to break. Everyone evokes their story, the way of telling it, of getting out of it and finally getting out of it, perhaps. In an attempt to “twist [her] neuroses,” Norma, 31, raped by her grandfather between the ages of 3 and 12, ended up making a stand-up show about it. Title: Norma[le], as an arm of honor to those who wanted to “confiscate [his] life”.

The forty-year-old Joachim recalls these videos where his father filmed him naked in the shower when he was 8 years old, his mother kissing him “on the mouth, sometimes with the tongue”. So much tangible evidence in the procedure which pits him against his parents in denial, still alive but for whom he has “already mourned”. “We think we’re going crazy,” repeats Pascale, abused by her father at 11, and who is barely emerging from her amnesia at 56. Sarah – the mother of the teenager cited above – castigates a justice system which, “through its inaction, becomes complicit”.

It is ultimately Emmanuelle Béart who says the least. But she's not here for that. “She didn’t even want to be on screen at first! », recalls the director. His presence and his voice punctuate the film, illustrated with animations as strong as they are poetic, representing children without mouths with a flower in place of their hearts.

The duo does not intend to stop there. Two ministries, justice and national education, are in the crosshairs. After the broadcast on M6 this evening, A Silence So Loud can, they say, become a training tool for judges. Or even be broadcast in educational establishments. “If the heart is touched, the conscience is too,” says the actress, who joined the collective appeal published in Le Monde on September 7 not to sacrifice the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence done to children, the Ciivise, whose mandate expires in December. More voices that risk not being heard...

A public service documentary on a private channel? This clearly shows the universality of the fight to be waged to break this “so noisy silence”.