Summer of Ashes
Documentary 52mn. 2004
Authors : Fred DUMAS /
Production : Coup d'Œil
TV broadcasting : Arte
A severe drought, an extreme heat wave and a devastating Mistral wind:
between July 16th and September 1st of 2003, 40 000 acres of forest went
up in smoke in the departmental region of Var in the south of France.
The Maures mountain area is an observation point that is, sadly, prone
to forest fires. In one of the most popular tourist regions of France
and at the height of the summer holiday season, thousands of vacationers
were subject to an emergency evacuation protocol, obliged to find shelter
on the beaches, the last safe bastion against the flames. And on each
day following the fires, a barren, moonlike landscape appeared on the
hills of this region. The country was in mourning.
A total of seven people lost their lives among them three fire fighters.
A year later the memory of this tragedy is still painful for the unwilling
actors of this drama. They tell their story of a summer of ashes and
tears with modest dignity.