“It is the image of France which was going well which is disappearing”, the public pays a last tribute to Belmondo


WE WERE THERE – Thousands of admirers attended the national tribute to the actor at the Invalides, noting not without a certain nostalgia that with the Magnificent, it is a “free and safe France” which is vanishing.

“There was a sun that shines on us”. It is in these terms that Emmanuel Macron spoke of the memory of Jean-Paul Belmondo. While a thousand lucky people were able to applaud the coffin of the actor leaving the courtyard of the Invalides to the music of Professional, an unforgettable theme signed Ennio Morricone, other admirers crowd in front of the gates of the Army Museum. The sun is indeed there. In their hearts. He hits hard. It looks like a direct from the left of Bébel. The public is groggy. A part of French cinema, a part of their life vanishes.

“We love Belmondo because he looked like us,” said Emmanuel Macron, delivering the actor’s eulogy in the courtyard of Les Invalides, in Paris. ERIC GAILLARD / REUTERS

Philippe, shirt with small checks wide open and graying hair holds back tears. Professional editor, he “Passed by” a book under his arm and stopped to pay homage to Belmondo. “It’s a certain image of France that is disappearing, a France that was doing well. A figure of French cinema too. I told myself that you shouldn’t miss it. I only saw The misfit and Itinerary of a spoiled child, but he represented this figure, this virile man.

Lilas is 21 years old. She works in cinematographic decoration. She’s there to say goodbye to him. “I grew up with his films, I watched them with my parents when I was little. I especially remember his simplicity, his charisma. Few players today have his presence ”, she believes, her gaze riveted on the big screen.

“No frills”. This is also what Leon, a young 60-year-old retiree, wants to remember from Jean-Paul Belmondo. He made an appointment with his friends on the Esplanade des Invalides. “His death touched me because I feel like I’m losing a friend. He was simple, a bit of a cabotin, he said. I especially loved its period of the 70s, a popular, funny and easily accessible cinema. ” Danielle, 74, is happy that the Republic honors her idol. Because, for her, “Belmondo is France free and without risks”. She seems to agree with the President of the Republic when the latter, during his eulogy, speaks of Belmondo, like a mirror. That of our contradictions, revealing our flaws. “We love his solitude, his taste for risk, the elegance of his joy, his style”, continues Emmanuel Macron with great tenderness for the Magnificent.

Frédéric, 58, is a state debt broker. Under his aviator’s glasses (circa 1980), he lights a chair bar. “It was important for me to share that with the French. Belmondo was the cigar, women were cars, a true Frenchman. “

Sébastien came from Rennes to greet his “Jean-Paul”. He landed an RTT day to come. Why is he here? “Because he’s always been my favorite actor, I loved it The professional. I didn’t want him to disappear at the end of the movie. It’s chemical, like love, it can’t be explained. “ Without a doubt Jean-Paul Belmondo was his sun …

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