Roschdy Zem: “The family is a refuge from which you have to know how to extricate yourself”

the essential
In his film “Les miens”, a tribute and declaration of love to the family currently showing, Roschdy Zem recounts the accident that happened to his brother and which radically transformed his personality for more than two years. A success.

This is your most intimate, most personal film…

Roschdy Zem: Yes, since I tell the story that really happened in my family. Everything is true even divorce by internet! Here it is: a few years ago, my brother was the victim of a cranial traumatism which caused a frontal syndrome, with modification of his personality. He thus went from the generous, calm, affable, deeply kind person who never said anything that he was (and has become again) to someone, without filter who said everything he thought and sometimes even in an odious way… This behavior has transformed family relations by finally putting everyone in their place. Be careful to speak like this, it is not to be crazy, because what one says in this case is very square, supposed, very thought out, but repressed for years. This is something that also happens in very old people who, out of senility or because they are tired of being silent for a lifetime, say what they really think…

What does family mean to you?

A shelter, a refuge, my base, my safeguard but from which he also lets us know how to extricate himself so as not to confine his identity.

In the film, you don’t spare yourself…

Certainly ! Ryad my character, my double, is in fact a star sports journalist on TV. I didn’t want to give myself the good part and I wanted to show the harm that can be done to others without realizing it. And how the status of artist or celebrity has impacts on the family. I received many marks of admiration from my parents but on the other hand, my celebrity prevented me from having a look, a listening sometimes necessary. Fame isolates. And in the film, Moussa only accepts Ryad because, in the end, everyone has their own handicap. Moussa his trauma and Ryad an invisible handicap that he will discover with his brother’s illness: his inability to express his feelings.

Why did you co-write the screenplay with Maïwenn?

First of all, Maïwen and I have somewhat the same paths, having started by failing at school… With Maïwenn, when it comes to writing, we are directly in the flesh. She does not theorize, she goes straight to the point. She brought me the fluidity and the carnal side, which for this film about the family was essential. Until now for the writing of my screenplays, the intellect took the upper hand a lot. It allowed me to write quickly, directly, instinctively. She had a fairly academic method with me: she gave me homework in the evenings, asking me to put together a file for each character, indicating their background, profession, character…

Has your brother seen the movie?

I also wrote it almost live, during his convalescence which lasted two years. At the time, he said to me: “Okay, do what you want but I won’t go see him. “Today, he is completely cured, he saw this film and it was for him the means, finally, to turn the page of his two years of crossing the desert. He cried from start to finish and in the end he said “thank you”.

Roschdy Zem: “The family is a refuge from which you have to know how to extricate yourself”