ADFF ONLINE 2022-2023

Building Bastille! The Tangled and Improbable story of the Opera Bastille

Available in 68d 23h 02m 10s
Available February 8, 2023 5:00 PM UTC
Already unlocked? for access

Give as a gift

Protected ContentThis content can only be viewed in authorized regions: United States of America, Canada.
$11After this content becomes available February 8th at 5:00 pm UTC, you'll have 24 hours to start watching. Once you begin, you'll have 48 hours to finish watching. Need help?

A half a billion dollar project, a crushing architectural challenge, an impossible deadline, two warring political titans, and a blind competition. What could go wrong?

The film is set in 1982 France when the new socialist President Mitterrand opens a blind competition to build an opera at the site of the notorious Bastille Prison. The jury selects the best design, a drawing that looks like the hand of prominent American architect Richard Meier but is a submission from an unknown and inexperienced Canadian architect Carlos Ott. 

Building Bastille! is a feature-length documentary that tells the comedic, dramatic, and tangled story of modern history’s most remarkable case of mistaken identity and seized opportunity. Drama ensues when right-wing Jacques Chirac is elected Prime Minister, and his hatred of Mitterrand causes him to place a stop work order on the Opera. But like all French politics, nothing is what it seems.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    76 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
    US Premiere
  • Director
    Leif Kaldor