The title is not composed to attract audience, it’s only the truth! What you have read is true: a Lebanese filmmaker directs his first TV Series in France, getting a high recognition from the press and grabbing the attention of the French government. We’re talking about the Lebanese International Award-winning Filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, best known for his award-winning movies West Beirut, Lila Says and The Attack. His first TV series is titled Baron Noir (Black Baron) and is a Canal+ original creation.
This political thriller series is like a French version of House of Cards. The story revolves around the protagonist ambitious politician Philippe Rickwaert (Kad Merad) whose career is threatened when his close friend, Francis Laugier (Niels Arestrup), a socialist presidential candidate, has to sacrifice him to save his campaign. Rickwaert will have to rebuild everything with the help of his many connections (including some dangerous ones). Black Baron is a realistic, thrilling depiction of French politics, from the higher level to the local scene, putting presidents and activists on the same level of dramatic importance.
Everyone was surprised by the choice of the main cast which includes the French well-known actor Kad Merad playing the role of Philippe Rickwaert, since Merad is known for his roles in comedy films. But for everybody’s surprise, he nailed it! Merad made a huge success in the series, showing his talent in a new very different role which was highly appreciated and positively reviewed by the press and the audience who were present at the premiere of the 2 first episodes in Paris, Dunkerque and lately in the Essone, with the presence of the French Prime Minister himself, Manuel Valls.
Not only Kad Merad, but also the whole cast of the film was positively reviewed including Niels Arelstrup and Anna Mouglalis. The director of the series Ziad Doueiri was highly acclaimed for his impeccable work, taking a TV series to a high level, as if we are watching a Hollywood movie divided into 8 episodes, showing the reality on the screen at its best!
The writers of the series Eric Benzekri and Jean-Baptiste Delafon made a great job with the script and as Doueiri mentioned in his interview with Canal+: “Just like the producer and the TV Channel, they chose me and have respected my artistic choices. Everything was in fusion. I even asked the scenarists to be present in the shooting because I needed them to play the role of consultants. I wanted to know how things really happen in the backstage of politics […] Thanks to this consistency in compliance with the details, the series has really gained intensity.”. It’s also a new collaboration between Doueiri and the cinematographer Tommaso Fiorilli after The Attack.
The series was nominated for the Best Series Award at the 2016 FIPA – International Festival of Audiovisual Programs in France and was officially selected for the 2016 Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands.
Everyone, including us, are eagerly waiting in the remaining few hours for the release of the series which will be aired, starting tomorrow February 8, every Monday at 9 PM (Paris Time) / 10 PM (Beirut Time) on Canal+ TV Channel.