(Paris) We noticed it in Le sens de la fête, by the Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache tandem. She was also one of the mistresses of ceremonies during the most recent evening of the Césars of French cinema. In Les femmes du square, a film by Julien Rambaldi (The best friends in the world, C’est la vie), Eye Haïdara has the opportunity to modulate a score in which she can assert her sense of comedy, while putting his talents in the service of a story with real stakes.
“Indeed, when I read it myself, this woman moved me, made me smile and I completely embarked on her story. And then, yes, it’s true, I was expecting a role like that! “, adds the actress during an interview carried out during the Rendez-vous du cinema français of Unifrance.
Eye Haïdara thus found herself playing Angèle, an Ivorian living without papers in Paris, who hopes to be able to regularize her situation so that her 10-year-old son, who has remained in the country of origin, can come and join her. Endowed with a fiery temper and a glibness allowing her to sell almost anything to anyone, Angèle accepts, on the advice of a caring neighbor, a job as a nanny with a family bourgeois.
Julien Rambaldi, who signs his fourth feature here, was inspired by his personal situation to write Les femmes du square.
“My son had a close relationship with the woman who kept him,” he says. I found this triangle formed between an employer, an employee and a child interesting. I realized how important these women, often undocumented, were in organizing the personal and professional lives of many families. The subject is rich, because the social contrast is striking. It also evokes the relationships of domination, even unconscious, that we maintain towards these women who occupy a job with very little supervision in terms of working conditions. »
The filmmaker wanted to tackle this theme without however falling into too heavy a social film. Les femmes du square is above all a comedy built around a colorful character. Julien Rambaldi’s ambition was to also highlight the essential role played by these often invisible and little-recognized women. The title of the feature film also refers to these nannies who, in the company of the children in their care, often meet at the local park to discuss this and that, and more particularly their relations with their employers.
“When we talk about immigration, especially on the far right, we never talk about all these people from elsewhere who have such fundamental functions, whether they are caregivers or babysitting our children! »
For Eye Haïdara, who is playing her first leading role in the cinema here, the strong character of the character was attractive, especially since the filmmaker sees Angèle as a kind of angel and troublemaker who comes to give a big kick in the anthill.
“This woman says things that other people would never dare to say,” she says. They couldn’t contradict their employer in the same way either. Above all, Angèle manages to unite these women so that they can defend themselves. His character and his attitude were already described like that in the script, but I also put my mind to it by trying to bring it all to life. So, yes, there is a bit of me in Angèle. »
Having practiced this profession for nearly twenty years, the actress was overcome with emotion when she saw the final result, particularly during a screening marked by a long ovation at the Angoulême Francophone Film Festival.
“Obviously it brings back a lot of memories, but you find that you forget a lot of things as well. I learned not to project myself too much. I prefer to play the present moment during filming and then rediscover things during the screening. And there, I must say that I enjoyed everything about this film. And I love her ! »