Nouvelles Du Monde

Comment l’association Ovale Citoyen a inspiré le dernier film de Philippe Guillard ?

Comment l’association Ovale Citoyen a inspiré le dernier film de Philippe Guillard ?

“At first it’s weird, the ball is oval, it doesn’t bounce normally, some people think it’s American football” says Lucas Perin, one of the co-founders of Ovale Citoyen 5 years ago. “But at least no one knows the rules so everyone starts at the same level” jokes the person who mainly played rugby 7s with his friends in high school. The Ovale Citoyen association started by bringing refugees together around rugby, with training sessions every Monday evening, on the UBB fields. Nowadays, they provide help with rights, information, day reception, football, basketball, boxing lessons and above all professional integration.

When Philippe Guillard wrote the script for his latest film “Pour l’honneur”, he asked the Racing 92 club for contacts with associations that could help him make his story realistic: that of a dozen migrants from all over the world arriving in a small village in Corrèze at the dawn of a derby against the enemy village. And so the Parisian club put Philippe Guillard in touch with Ovale Citoyen and its president Jean Francois Puech, who was able to tell anecdotes and inspire the script.

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The chant that young Salifou teaches the rugby team, the scene where coach Marco tries to explain the rules of rugby to Jawad the Iranian, “these are verbatim things that we experienced with the association” explains Jean Francois Puech. And this is reflected in the film: the clichés of the values of oval rugby, of cloister rugby and refugees who arrive in it are not so much…

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