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NOTRE-DAME ON FIRE

Jean-Jacques Annaud

On April 15th 2019, a small fire in the roof structure of Notre-Dame cathedral in the centre of Paris quickly escalated and grew out of control. Jean-Jacques Annaud’s thrilling, meticulously researched recreation of the ensuing 24 hours, reveals just how close the iconic structure came to collapse. Working with renowned screenwriter Thomas Bidegain (A Prophet, Rust and Bone), director Jean-Jacques Annaud adopts a forensic approach, outlining how a series of minor on-site procedural mistakes and anomalies led to initial warning signs being ignored, and the fire had been blazing out of control for 28 minutes by the time the head of the Paris fire brigade was informed. Seamlessly incorporating real footage shot from drones, TV camera, and cell phones, with uncannily realised recreations, Notre-Dame on Fire is a gripping account of a tragedy averted.

Notes by David O’Mahony

IFI French Film Club: Tickets for the 18.20 screening on the 28th will cost €10.00 for IFI and Alliance Française members.

110 mins, France, 2022, Digital

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