J’Veux du Soleil

A new French documentary film “J’Veux du Soleil ” (I Want the Sun), directed by Gilles Perret and Francois Ruffin, looks at the rural discontent fueling the Gilet Jaune (Yellow Vests) movement.

Created like a road movie, the film follows the journey of the two directors from the North to the South of France during six days last December as they interview Gilet Jaune protestors along roads and roundabouts. The film is the first project between the two friends, who have known each other for more than fifteen years. Perret previously directed “La Sociale” (2016) and “L’insoumis” (2018). Ruffin directed the film “Merci, Patron!” (2016) and is a legislative representative for the Somme department in the Haut-de-France region.

Ruffin accompanied by Perret and his camera cross rural France interviewing people who feel left behind by the economic and technological forces jostling their lives. We meet part-time workers and retirees barely getting by and others lamenting how their small villages no longer have public services and yet another lady who only gets by with gift cards she gets when she wins playing bingo… Ruffin says his film attempts to give a voice to people who are invisible to much of French society.

The title of the film “J’veux du soleil” is inspired by an early nineties song with the same name by the P’tit Bonheur Group. In a touching moment at the end of the film, a female protester, Marie, sings this song on the beach with François Ruffin. Then during the final scene with credits rolling, we see her join three members of Au p’tit bonheur continuing the song with the guys who performed it back in the day.