Building Bastille

Duration:
76 min
Director:
Leif Kaldor
Country:
Canada
Country of filming:
Trailer:
Description:

A half a billion dollar project, a crushing architectural challenge, an impossible deadline, two warring political titans and a blind competition that chose - the wrong guy? A half a billion dollar project, a crushing architectural challenge and impossible deadline, two warring political titans and an architect who has never built anything. What could go wrong?


In 1982 the new French president Mitterrandopens  a blind competition, to build anopera at the  site of the notoriousBastille prison The jury seems to have found the best design, by prominent Americanarchitect Richard Meier. Or so they thought.

Until the Minister of Culture blanches andstumbles through the name Carlos Ott, Canadian. No one has heard of him and he hasnever built anything. They chose the wrong guy?

Hastily informed, Carlos flies to Pariswith an expired passport and is tossed into an airport holding cell forimmediate deportment. Official panic ensues. Things get worse from there.

But like French politics, nothing is whatit appears. A year later when Jacques Chirac is elected Prime Minister, he hatesMitterrand and works to stop the Opera When Carlos Ott receives Chirac`s stopwork order, the money is cut off. It seems that all the sacrifice is for naught.

Building Bastille is a feature lengthdocumentary that tells the comic, dramatic and tangled story of modernhistory’s greatest case of mistaken identity and seized opportunity.


In 1982 the new French president Mitterrandopens  a blind competition, to build anopera at the  site of the notoriousBastille prison The jury seems to have found the best design, by prominent Americanarchitect Richard Meier. Or so they thought.

Until the Minister of Culture blanches andstumbles through the name Carlos Ott, Canadian. No one has heard of him and he hasnever built anything. They chose the wrong guy?

Hastily informed, Carlos flies to Pariswith an expired passport and is tossed into an airport holding cell forimmediate deportment. Official panic ensues. Things get worse from there.

But like French politics, nothing is whatit appears. A year later when Jacques Chirac is elected Prime Minister, he hatesMitterrand and works to stop the Opera When Carlos Ott receives Chirac`s stopwork order, the money is cut off. It seems that all the sacrifice is for naught.

Building Bastille is a feature lengthdocumentary that tells the comic, dramatic and tangled story of modernhistory’s greatest case of mistaken identity and seized opportunity.