It has been 40 years since the Plogoff nuclear power plant project was abandoned after a long popular struggle. A struggle led at the time by the inhabitants of southern Finistèrelà where the shooting of Nicolas Guillou’s next film is taking place. A film based on a real fact which nevertheless remains a fictional story built around three female characters: a young mother, whose husband, a fisherman, disappeared at sea, her daughter and the maternal grandmother.
The history of the Plogoff power station begins in March 1974. France is struggling to recover from the first oil shock. The Messmer government wants to speed up the construction of nuclear power plants. Objective: 200 power plants by the year 2000. A 5,200 megawatt plant is planned in Brittany. Several sites are mentioned, Erdeven, Guimaec, Tréguennec and Plogoff. The struggle in the village of Finistère began in 1976 when the State sent geologists to study the site. The entire population refuses the installation of a nuclear power station a stone’s throw from Pointe du Raz, facing the Ile de Sein, in this Audierne bay open to the Atlantic: “Don’t waste your time measuring anything, your thing, we don’t want it!”, then says a slogan of the time.
With this new film, provisionally as Plogoff 1980, Nicolas guillou traces the events of the winter of 1980. “It’s really the great history of Brittany, when I was a teenager, I was bathed in these images that we saw”, reports the filmmaker for whom resistance is a value to be preserved. “To fight for our territory, for a democratic idea, I find that super beautiful”. The filmmaker delved into the archives of the time and got closer to the activists of the time. “What I wanted was for them to be able to read the film to correct mistakes, because even if it is informed a lot by documentaries or literature, I needed life and experience”, he assures.
To stick as closely as possible to reality, the filmmaker called on extras from the region. Some of them, through their parents or friends, experienced the events as closely as possible.. “It’s great to participate in the film, especially since some of them are starting to disappear “, says Eric Pennamen, inhabitant of Plogoff and amateur actor for the occasion. For his low-budget film, Nicolas Guillou appealed to the generosity of the inhabitants of the region. A participatory drive to which many villagers have responded. Here, an association of vintage cars from Pont-Croix which supplies vintage vehicles. There traders, farmers, fishermen who also help. Others lend a hand with the decorations of the former high school in Plouhinec. “People fought to prevent the nuclear power plant, so we keep showing that we won’t want a plant here”, assures Yann Carval, paint roller in hand.
Nicolas Guillou still needs extras for the stages of demonstrations. A call is made for goodwill. Filming will take place from October to November, mainly on weekends.
The national release of Plogoff, 1980 is scheduled for early 2023.