Simone, le voyage du Siècle, awarded twice at the César for best costumes and sets

Christian Marti and Gigi Lepage hailed at the César Awards for their creative impulse

Christian Marti has transported us to sets that are as dazzling as they are moving. From the house in Nice, to the European Parliament, to the concentration and extermination camps, all the places that have marked Simone Veil's story have been reproduced almost identically. He and Oliver Dahan, the director, did not hesitate to shoot in Budapest, in frighteningly realistic settings that plunge the spectators with great emotion into the heart of the German concentration camps, where the worst atrocities committed by humanity reigned. In the Hungarian studios, the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen camps were completely reconstructed. A world so real that the entire film crew was moved by it. Elodie Bouchez, playing Simone's mother, says that they alternated between deep euphoria and sadness: "Sometimes you could see the boom operator crying. There were always people crying during the day. It was emotionally charged. But we knew it would be hard. At the same time, it was quite cathartic. For Rebecca Marder, playing the young Simone, the filming itself was not taxing but "the idea of staging the unimaginable is totally shattering."

As for costume designer Gigi Lepage, she owes her prize to her meticulous work on the costumes given to the actors and extras and in particular to her close collaboration with Chanel, which accompanied the production of the film to create Simone Veil's wardrobe. So many of Chanel's timeless pieces, reproduced especially for the film, were seen on the actress Elsa Zylberstein who plays Simone Veil. A grey and white silk crepe suit from the Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1978/79 collection, a red tweed coat with gold buttons and a duck blue tweed blouse and skirt set were all part of the actress' appearance in the film.

It was important for Olivier Dahan to reproduce the Chanel suit in every piece as the essential piece of clothing for Simone Veil in her fight for freedom and tolerance. In fact, her Chanel suits followed her throughout her mandate as Minister of Health between 1974 and 1979, on 26 November 1974, when she defended the text on the legalisation of abortion in Parliament, or when she was elected to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 17 June 1979.

In addition to Elsa Zylberstein's wardrobe, Gigi Lepage took care of Rebecca Marder's outfits, creating, for example, her wedding dress from scratch, which would almost make her steal the show from the lead actress. Finally, she put her heart into dressing as faithfully as possible all of Simone Veil's entourage as well as each of the actors who appeared on screen, from the child deported to the camps to the parliamentarian being cared for. In this 48th César ceremony, she emphasised that she had worked hard for a year alongside her husband, her most faithful partner at work.