Special correspondent, writer, resistant, Joseph Kessel has known both wealth and glory.
At the age of 17 he dreamt of being an actor, but the suicide of his brother made him give up that dream. He doesn’t go on stage, but turns his life into a novel. With an innate sense of drama, the one they called “Jef” created his life as an adventure film, a life where fantasy and reality intermingled, a haunting waltz around characters that resembled him, like a film with himself as the hero. At the age of 60 he became the author of one of the greatest best-sellers of the 20th century, The Lion. Through all those years Kessel had worked, had fun and loved, in a whirlwind of wild passions. He did it all with panache, with no fear of death, and survived everything: war, drugs, alcohol… If many reporters have made him their reference, it is because Joseph Kessel is the bearer of universal values and a personal talent, making for great men and great stories. He could be a fictional movie hero. It is through films and other archives that we will tell the story of Kessel and browse his astonishing biography.

A film by Marie Brunet-Debaines 

Coproducers: ARTE France / INA

With the participation of Histoire / TV5 Monde

With the participation of CNC

With the support of Procirep - Angoa