Understanding Lourdes through the personal stories told there, both those of Catholic pilgrims and other faiths, but also through the prism of the locals, the current mayor, Thierry Lavit, or even thanks to the testimony of Gad Elmaleh, producer of the successful musical show “Bernadette de Lourdes”.
It is a long-term filming, which began in June and which will normally end with the pilgrimage of the Rosary, undertaken by Rabah Aït-Hamadouche, a major reporter, having officiated in particular for the television news of TF1 for fifteen years. With the idea of telling the story of the city and the sanctuary in a 90-minute documentary, broadcast on C8 at the end of the year and produced by Electron Libre Productions.
It is an “interest in spiritual gatherings” that led him to take an interest in the Marian city, after having already witnessed pilgrimages to Mecca for TF1.
Broadcast at the end of the year
With a release scheduled for 2021 and a filming the same year, the theme of the Covid has necessarily imposed itself, with “the relationship of the French to the spiritual in times of pandemic”, but also the “overhaul, renewal” that required the health crisis in this high place of pilgrimage.
The documentary must fit into the new programming schedule of C8, which now reserves a space for a long documentary, oriented towards human stories with a positive tone.
“Behind the scenes”
It is not “an order”, specifies the journalist, questioned as to whether this shooting is also in connection with a new catholic tropism of the channel, which had broadcast the mass of August 15, as well as a documentary accused of ‘be anti-abortion. It “may be responding to a common taste,” he says.
This document, whose provisional name is “A summer in Lourdes, return to the pilgrimage”, will therefore be an opportunity to reveal the “backstage” of the place, through testimonies of the “Doctor Miracle”, of the 70th miracle of Lourdes, but also of families, travelers or even Tamils venerating the Virgin within the framework of a syncretic Hinduism, but also of hoteliers or restaurateurs.