‘Notre Dame is burning’: The interiors of the documentary

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'Notre Dame is burning': The interiors of the documentary

director of blockbusters as The name of the rose (1986), adaptation of the emblematic novel written by Umberto Eco (1932-2016), not forgetting of course Enemy at the Gates (2001) or Bear (1988), Jean-Jacques Annaud states that he found out about the Notre-Dame fire on April 15, 2019, through the radio, because he was on vacation in a rural house without a television.

Filming a film about that tragedy was a project in which he investigated through documents that revealed “a fascinating and inopportune series of setbacks, obstacles and errors.” This led him to consider that it was a “true story that brought together all the components of a fictional script.” From a family that he describes as atheist, secular and republican, he is attracted to all places of worship. “Whether inside a temple, a mosque or a church, I like to feel the mystery of a faith that I do not share, the serenity of worship and prayer.”


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There is a touch of humor that is appreciated in this story with images of firefighters and police totally dedicated to an operation full of contradictions and shortcomings, in order to control an event that threatened the weak structure of a historic building visited daily by thousands of tourists. In short, a business for some, without forgetting the valuable works of art that exist inside. The difference in behavior between workers and senior officials is also shown. The well-paid believed themselves above good and evil in the face of what was an announced disaster that collapsed Paris. Hence, President Macron stated: “It is sad to see how a part of all French people is burning.”

There’s a welcome touch of humor in this story with images of dedicated firefighters and police officers”

But, as we said, there is no lack of an element of humor that relieves the viewer of the tension that is experienced on the screen. Like that of an old woman who calls the police and firemen again and again to rescue her kitten, which she finds on a roof near the fire. At times it may seem like a somewhat repetitive movie, but such are catastrophes.

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