Oury Milshtein, director of “For your wedding”: “The slightest recognition has always upset me”

Oury Milshtein, director of “For your wedding”: “The slightest recognition has always upset me”

Movies

Oury Milshtein, 66 years old, is as little known to the general public as he is known to the French cinema world, in which he has worked as a production director for around forty years, notably on films by Agnès Varda and Arnaud Desplechin. or Paul Verhoeven. For Your Marriage , a sort of intimate essay, is his first film as a director, a happy and moving success built with and against a life marked by powerful personal tragedies.

How did your entry into the world of cinema take place?

I was living in Israel at that time, far from a painful schooling and my parents who lived, separated, in France. My father’s older brother was a fitter there. I had a lot of respect for the guy, so I enrolled in film school. When I think about it, too, one of the only ties that linked me to my parents was precisely cinema. My French-speaking status allowed me to join as an intern and interpreter on the Costa-Gavras set, which was filming in Jerusalem in the early 1980s, Hanna K. I followed them to Paris, where I notably worked with Agnès Varda, and, one thing led to another, I became production director.

It is a profession little known to the public. How would you define it?

It’s trying to reconcile the desire and ambition of a director with the budget available to the producer. This is no small thing, you basically have to lie to everyone all the time to get the most you can on screen. The pleasure is in making things exist. It’s the very concrete side of this job that suited me, I think.

To make things exist without, so to speak, existing oneself. Don’t we find something from your film there?

The fact is that I have always felt illegitimate in doing things. The slightest recognition, even if only in the context of my work, has always upset me. As if I didn’t feel entitled to accept kindness towards me. In love, the same. That a relationship can last has always been a matter of astonishment to me. I believe that everything is closely linked to my complicated relationship with my parents.

And finally comes this decision to make a film…

In fact, I never wanted to direct a film. At most it was about putting some order into my life and the images are very useful for that. It took me four years to do it, little by little, finding personal archives, filming this or that sequence, but without ever allowing myself to think that I was going to show it one day.

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