The face of the “magnificent” is spread over the headlines the day after his death at the age of 88. Jean-Paul Belmondo, sacred monster of cinema, died Monday, September 6.

In the meantime, Reunion salutes the memory of Jean-Paul Belmondo. “We watched films with Jean-Paul, and that good!”, Notes a Saint-Paulois. “A great actor, like Alain Delon,” adds another. “I remember that with my parents, we often watched his films,” said a woman from Réunion.

Jean-Paul Belmondo was humanity, kindness, permanent fun, according to his friends. Affectionately known as Bébel, he was the father of four children.

Reunion also remembers his visit to the island. In the midst of the many works of his long filmography, he shot “La Sirène du Mississipi”, in Reunion Island in 1969. A film directed by François Truffaut. Alongside Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Belmondo plays the role of Louis Mahé, a wealthy industrialist who falls in love with a young woman living in New Caledonia, with whom he maintains an epistolary relationship that will turn into a scam.

The film highlighted the Church of St. Anne, the Villa of Bel Air, and the landscapes of the island. Many Reunionese participated directly or indirectly in the shooting: Yves Drouhet, Albert Ramassamy, or Antoine Minatchy who was assistant director.

“It was almost a dream to meet him,” says Antoine Minatchy, moved and happy to have been able to work on the set where he had been hired as a second assistant. There are so many anecdotes. It was natural, spoke to the people. people, often joked “.

Victim of a stroke in 2001 which left him paralyzed on the right side, Jean-Paul Belmondo had left the film studios and the theater boards for a few years, without ever being forgotten. During his lifetime, many tributes were paid to him, such as during the Césars ceremony in 2017 where the room offered him a long standing ovation, or when he received the Palm of Honor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. A national tribute will be paid to him, Thursday, September 9, at the Invalides.

Reunion Island remembers Jean-Paul Belmondo and the filming of “La Sirène du Mississipi” in 1969