Cannes 2022: Diam comes out of silence with «Salam», a documentary about his life

Cinema 27 May, 2022

The rapper, who left the stage in 2009 and erected a wall of silence around herself, reappears with a documentary about her life presented at a special screening of the Cannes Film Festival.

This is the well-known story of a girl from a Paris suburb who discovers that rap words carry the power of the torments that inhabit her. Anyone who tries to commit suicide at the age of 15 will drive away their dark thoughts, and at the same time the public. A musical tidal wave. In 1999, Melanie Georgiades, known as «Diam», released her first album Premier mandat. Ten years later, she stops everything.

The story is known. Diam converted to Islam and covered his face. Bride and mother. With a radicality that gives free rein to all fantasies. The contrast between the wall of silence that the ex-singer is building and her years at the top of the charts creates a second legend, even more mysterious than the first… today is the guarantee of getting the final version – with directors Khuda Benyamina and Anne Cisse. The film was presented at a special screening on Thursday, May 26, at the Cannes Film Festival.

The singer, who in 2008, while vacationing in Mauritius with a friend, noted on a leaflet among the good solutions to find inner peace (salam): «Never talk to journalists again», performs in Cannes for the first time.

The depression that has been inhabiting her for a long time, the stay in psychiatric hospitals, the diagnosis of bipolar, this career of a rock star that turns into a failure in her search for happiness, the discovery of faith as a refuge, the love of her family, reconciliation with her father, complicity with her mother … A young woman opens with a soft voice, with fragility that forever and piercingly transforms her the image of a rap star.

Salam may not be a «cinematic object» (long shots of the setting sun and birds in the sky), but the second part, about her afterlife – a young woman who continues to generate a million listeners a month on Spotify, has set up and finances an orphanage in Africa — although it may have the expected proselytizing side, he, meanwhile Nevertheless, I am struck on the verge of sincerity.

This was not mistaken by the Brut platform, which produced the film (it should be released in cinemas within three days, on July 1, as a loss leader before going online), and skillfully directed its presentation at the Cannes Film Festival, of which it is a partner of France Télévisions. With, to greet him, host Augustin Trapenard and the announcement of the rapper’s arrival at the Croisette. But the show was recorded in advance. And Melanie-Diam stayed at home.