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My Greatest Escape

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MY GREATEST ESCAPE

Most French people vividly recall the images of Michel Vaujour’s escape from a Paris prison on board a helicopter. A recurring figure on the TV news in the eighties and nineties, Vaujour remains one of the most notorious crooks in France. Sentenced to a total of 30 years imprisonment, he spent about 27 years behind bars, but kept escaping, winning the sympathies of many. The definition of prison, for Vaujour, is a place from which to flee. The film traces Vaujour’s life in a series of long, insightful conversations, revealing a playful little boy who got up to a lot of mischief and also suffered many losses. The precise description of his imprisonment and the way it affected him show a man obsessed with freedom who through determination and intelligence, has preserved a genuine lust for life. There is no trace of moral judgment in Fabienne Godet’s gripping and moving portrait of this anti-hero. Although Vaujour’s story would make the perfect script for a gangster movie, allowing him to narrate his own experiences creates a far more thrilling and fascinating screen persona.

France 2009, 107 min

by

Fabienne Godet

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