1709478411 Five questions for Gilles Desjardins author of IXE 13 and the

Five questions for Gilles Desjardins, author of IXE-13 and the race for uranium

Gilles Desjardins has an exceptional talent for bringing our story to the screen while keeping it relevant and alive. He did it too Eden Museumthen with the adjustment of Oberland. His dialogues are effective, as we have seen Lie. This time he takes us into the heart of the Cold War, whose unexpected center was Montreal. He talks about it with infectious joy. His view of IXE-13, played by Marc-André Grondin, and his fellow spies fascinates and surprises. A historical, detective and human series that we rarely see.

Gilles Desjardine, author

Photo provided by Club Illico

You have already said that the adaptation of Oberland was the riskiest project of your career. How aboutIXE-13 ?

I make dangerous decisions all the time and I'm not really aware of it. The countries mentioned above were almost a bit suicidal! Everyone told me not to do that. It's the same with IXE-13. I worked on it for 6 years. I've always been interested in the Cold War. They told me: Nobody is interested anymore. Then war broke out in Ukraine when I was in the final stages of writing. It has become very topical. It actually bothered me a lot. I didn't want the series to be interpreted as a commentary on what was happening. I wanted to explore the themes of secrecy. And there are many similarities between the two eras: labor shortages, housing shortages, inflation, a wave of conspiracy. What seemed crazy became sensible during development. It is certain that there is a great economic risk. By initiating the project I acquired the rights. Your beliefs must be strong because you have to convince many people for this to happen.

In what IXE-13a series of spy magazines by Pierre Daigneault, adapted for the cinema by Jacques Godbout with Les Cyniques, would he become an interesting protagonist in 2024?

I'm a big fan of Quebec popular culture, especially the 1940s and '60s. We are a small fringe culture between the American bulldozer and the French academic. Pierre Daigneault was able to connect with a reality much more important than one can imagine: that of the secret services. About thirty agents took part in secret operations. Seven were tortured by the Gestapo. It's crazy that this young 22 year old author saw this. He is a forerunner. We have to do justice to him. Plus, it was long before James Bond and Bob Morane. IXE-13 is the only superhero in Quebec.

You have a habit of doing a lot of research before writing. How can you separate the true from the false?

A balance needs to be found. I do a lot of research to be completely credible when someone attacks me and points out anachronisms. The structure is very realistic. The Gouzenko affair (his defection) revealed the vast Soviet network in the country. After that, I allow myself some freedom. We are in entertainment. It's true that the Soviets wanted to steal uranium. It's documented. How did it happen? I'll give myself some leeway here. I was once told that Les Pays d'en Haut caused a boom in queries on Wikipedia. I like to awaken people's curiosity about authentic events. It is then fictionalized to make a good show.

In addition to the thriller aspect, the series also shows vulnerable agents. This is an aspect that is rarely discussed.

I was inspired by their true stories. Some dialogues are literally what people like Lucien Dumais or Raymond Labrosse (real secret service agents) revealed. I wanted to give them density. I've been collecting gear for 25 years. They all have post-traumatic syndrome. The nice thing is supporting each other after experiencing the worst. Loyalty in suffering is a great emotional burden. This is one of the basics of the story.

For budget reasons, only a few historical series are produced. Did you have to make a lot of concessions?

There is a magic recipe that made all of this possible. With director Yan Lanouette Turgeon, we were inspired by the aesthetics of 1940s film noir. For example, the close-ups allow us to not have all the decor. We have developed expertise and it is important that there is continuity so that we are never overwhelmed. We must fight against the fiscal intimidation imposed on us by the big players. We did things our way and it worked./

♦ IXE-13 and the race for uranium is available on Club illico (two episodes appear every Thursday).