Destinations Magazine

French Political Fiction: What If It Were True?

By Stizzard

ONE pleasure of the French summer is the publication of political fiction in media usually busy with the soap opera of real political life. During the holidays, reporters let their imaginations run wild. Improbable alliances, liaisons and betrayals are invented. Le Figaro, a conservative newspaper, ran a 17-part fictional series in August entitled “Hollande departs”. L’Opinion, another daily, ran a 14-part series originally called “The kidnapping of Arnaud Montebourg”.Other countries turn out political drama, from America’s “House of Cards” to Denmark’s “Borgen”. But the French seem keen on fiction based on real characters. In recent years directors have made films about serving, or recently active, politicians, including “La conquête”, a fictional portrayal of the rise to power of Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president. “Quai d’Orsay” was an entertaining glimpse into theatrics at the foreign office under a fictitious Dominique de Villepin, a former foreign minister.Television does it too. A French series, “L’Ecole du Pouvoir”, followed five characters who met at the elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration in the late 1970s, ahead of the election of a Socialist president, François Mitterrand, in 1981. One seemed rather like François Hollande, the incumbent; another resembled Ségolène Royal, his classmate, former partner and…

The Economist: Europe

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