Omar Sy Shines at Cannes in Gripping French-Senegalese War Film

Omar Sy Shines at Cannes in Gripping French-Senegalese War Film
Omar Sy burst onto the mainstream screen in the 2011 film Intouchables, and there’s been no stopping him since. The film, a hit, spawned an American adaption called The Upside, starring Kevin Hart, which wasn’t nearly as good. As the star of Paris-shot Netflix hit Lupin, Sy delights audiences as a lovable jewel thief. He’s here on la Croisette in France for Cannes Film Festival (I passed by him yesterday, and he was charismatic and smiling), delighting people everywhere he goes. Notably, he joked with photographers at his photocall for his new film. Sy is in Cannes for the presentation of his new film Tirailleurs (Father and Soldier is the film’s English title). Tirailleurs appears in this year’s “Un Certain Regard” category. The film is directed by Mathieu Vapedied, the art director of Intouchables. Sy and Vapedied again make film magic together. Sy also served as a producer of this film.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Omar Sy (@omarsyofficial) The film tells the story of the Senegalese men unwillingly enlisted in the French army from 1914-1918. Focusing on a father and son pair, Vadepied underscores the horrors of colonialism and of war. The film was shot in Mawoundou, a Senegalese village in the Fouta Toto region. Speaking at Cannes, the director says of his film, “I would like the viewer to have a sensory experience which touches their emotions more than their intellect, so that the greatest number of people feel and understand the way that French society is made up of so many different origins, particularly from Sub-Saharan Africa.” Vadepied continues, adding, “The film is not a full-frontal assault on the issue of the memory of colonialism.” Instead, he hopes it touches on the universal theme of family. “It aims to have a universal appeal through the simple story of a father and his son.”

Lead photo credit : Omar Sy at the PhotoCall in Cannes. Photo credit: Getty

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Anne McCarthy is a contributing writer to BBC News, Teen Vogue, The Telegraph, Dance Magazine, and more. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and is the Editor in Chief of Fat Tire Tours’ travel blog. She lives in New York City.