” Brigitte Bardot. The insoumise”, on Canal+ Docs: Mireille Dumas succeeds in the intimate portrait of a myth, all in paradoxes

Photo from the documentary “Brigitte Bardot.  The rebellious”, by Mireille Dumas.


As soon as Brigitte Bardot appears on the screen, piquant, insolent, in the little-seen making of babette leavest-at war (Christian Jaque, 1959), all those who have since tried to resemble him find themselves relegated to the rank of pale copies. Not to mention the dance scene, in And God created the woman (Roger Vadim, 1956), in front of a Jean-Louis Trintignant liquefied with desire.

“BB” is unique, whether we like it or not, and the rest, half a century later, when we find her in her house in Saint-Tropez (Var), facing the journalist Mireille Dumas. We are in 2006. The presenter of “Private life, public life”, on France 3, has just won an exceptional interview, which remains the last filmed appearance of BB in her intimacy, at La Madrague.

Now a director (whose excellent Garbage and men, in 2019), Mireille Dumas decided to dive back into the rushes of this one-and-a-half-hour interview, of which only forty minutes were broadcast at the time, to extract the raw material for a documentary, enriched with multiple excerpts from films, newspapers and broadcasts. Among the testimonies, the remarks of Claude Autan-Lara at the exit ofIn case of misfortune (1958) to defend the actress: “She has the first talent: she is beautiful. »

tipping point

It is obviously the interview of 2006 which carries the film. Made up, flowers stuck in her hair, the septuagenarian has no taboos. Whether on old age, on death, on motherhood that she does not assume; on her husbands and her lovers; on his suicide attempts: “Suicide is the impossibility of living the next five minutes. »

The director is interested in the tipping point, when the star chose to drop everything at 39 to put his notoriety at the service of the animal cause, even if it means being insulted, threatened – “My life is difficult. She spoiled me, but the more you have, the more you pay. » The images show his early support for Greenpeace but also the encouragement received from Marguerite Yourcenar.

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The paradoxes arise, at the mention of feminism, between the free woman and the one who cannot live without the affection and protection of the other. “If Bernard (d’Ormale, her fourth husband) wasn’t by my side, I couldn’t live alone. »

In the commentary, Mireille Dumas contextualizes, updates, but only briefly deals with the controversies and not at all with the most recent accusations of racism. “That was not the pointshe explains to World. This is not what we want to remember from Brigitte Bardot. » What do we want to retain? At 88, BB has her little idea, which she delivers in an audio message, at the conclusion of this 52 minutes, decidedly too short.

Brigitte Bardot. The rebellious, by Mireille Dumas (Fr., 2023, 52 mins). Followed, on Ciné+ Classic, by Contempt, by Jean-Luc Godard (1963).

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