On September 20, 2000, Marie-José Pérec, the big favorite in the 400 meters at the Olympics, hastily left Sydney the day before the competition. Victim of a hostile climate, she flees. When a television crew finds her at an airport, the contact almost turns into a fight. Psychological shipwreck of a great athlete who will enhance her image as a capricious sportswoman.
Guest from 9and Festival Sport, Literature and Film (SLC), organized by the Lumière Institute, Marie-José Pérec appeared as a peaceful woman, ready to talk extensively about herself, with perspective and sensitivity, interviewed by Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Institute. But also answering questions from the public and signing his book of memories, together with Paul-Henry Bison, who dedicated an amazing novel to him, Olympia†
Sport, openness and revenge on fate
What does Marie-Jose Perec say? “Sydney? I accept it today. No one has a linear life. While top athletes have to constantly show that they are strong, keep their heads high, I burst out laughing. My weakness took over. When I returned to France, I stayed at home for three months without going out, without washing. †
She has no nostalgia for her great time. All his medals are gathering dust in his basement. Mother of a 12 year old son, she has changed. “But every day I meet someone on the street or in a shop who comes to talk to me about what I’ve done. This kindness gives me goosebumps. †
Marie-José Pérec came late to the athletics in Guadeloupe, not knowing anything about it, or harboring the slightest dreams of conquest. Her natural gifts, plus work, carried her to the top, supported by her grandmother, a stranger from this world, who followed her exploits. “When I arrived in France, I was not accepted everywhere. Because of my medals I lost my skin color. I was no longer who I am, a black woman. However, I wanted to mark my era with my performances and change the way we look. †
A verve à la Audiard
Sport, openness and revenge on fate… Clarisse Agbégnénou, a five-time world champion and Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020, revealed that she was born at seven months premature, along with her twin brother, who had undergone kidney surgery at 1 month and was almost dead, before suddenly being reborn.
Bernard Lacombe, former football player for Olympique Lyonnais, Saint-Étienne, Girondins de Bordeaux and the French team, also told how he forged country football from his village and under the impulse of his grandfather. Touching testimonies, told with an Audiard verve and touching humility, were alternating, without boasting, subdued hours and moments of glory.
→ 2020 EDITION OF SLC. Nostalgia, guest of the Sport, Literature and Cinema festival
SLC is also a series of films and documentaries about sports, some of which are presented by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, which has pulled some gems from its archives such as WhiteRockby Tony Maylam, at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics. There are also rarities, such as The king of the pedalscreened as a cine concert, silent film by Maurice Champreux, co-scripted by Henri Decoin, shot in the middle of the 1925 Tour de France, with the hilarious Georges Biscot.
An audience of moviegoers
Or striking elements such as counter productive, the investigation conducted by Canal+ into the terrifying accident that occurred on November 29, 2020 with Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean. Prisoner of his burning car, stuck in his bathtub, he had accepted the idea of dying before revolting thinking of his children. Driven by the will to survive, he managed in extremis, burnt hands, broken knee, to free himself from this conflagration…
SLC is also a series of photo exhibitions by The team, among his collection of 12 million photos, a fantastic but underused wealth. SLC is also and above all the meeting of an audience of cinephiles and the curious who are lured by the poster. It is this fine mix of sport and culture that ensures success and sustainability.
SLC has also been a short-lived bookstore, animated by book signings, for nearly a decade, selling more than five hundred books in four days.
Among the 2022 harvest:
– The straight lineby Yves Gibeau (emphasis);
– The passion according to Saint-Etienneby Christophe Verneyre (emphasis);
– The Association of the pack, philosophy of the individual in the groupby Guillaume Martin (Grasset);
– Football instinctby Bernard Lacombe (Solar);
– Born to playby Alain Giresse (Robert Laffont);
– Olympiaby Paul-Henry Bison (Gallimard);
– The Eye of Sport, the most beautiful photos of photographers, The team (sun).