Film cover

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

A half-billion-dollar project, an urgent architectural challenge, two warring political titans – the left-wing president François Mitterrand and the right-wing Prime Minister Jacques Chirac – and an architect who had never built anything of note. The film portrays the incredible adventure of the Canadian architect Carlos Ott, who was chosen in 1982 to design the new Bastille Opera House in Paris. No one had heard of him and he wasn't Richard Meier, who had been expected to win the international competition involving around 750 firms of architects. Using 16mm and 35mm archive footage, an intricate human story unfolds as emotions run high amid a sequence of thrills, spills and twists.

Architecture - AFA
Director: Leif Kaldor
Year: 2021
Duration: 76'
Country: Canada
Language: English, French with subtitles in English

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