Gustave Eiffel’s great-great-grandson angry: “The public deserved better, at least the truth”

The film Eiffel devoted to the French engineer and industrialist takes too many liberties according to one of his descendants. For him, the genius of his ancestor cannot be reduced to “a banal love affair ”. Angry, he asked the producers to add the mention “Fictionalized fiction” at the start of the feature film.

He only saw the trailer, but his opinion is already clear. Philippe Coupérie-Eiffel, great-great-grandson of Gustave Eiffel, is angry with the film released Wednesday, October 13 at the cinema. Soberly titled Eiffel, the feature film is not exactly a biopic, and the production assumes to have taken liberties with historical reality.

It retraces the life of Gustave Eiffel at the turn of his career. In the 1880s, the engineer and industrialist from Dijon had just produced the Statue of Liberty, freshly sent to New York. His obsessions then revolved around the metro project, the major issue of the time for Paris. The government rather sees in Eiffel the master builder of the future Universal Exhibition of 1889. It is then that he meets Adrienne Bourgès, a love of youth, who goes, in any case in the film of Martin Bourboulon, the inspire and relaunch his creativity, to design the tower that will make him go down in history.

Romain Duris and Emma Mackey play the two main characters. Historically, Gustave Eiffel has had a love affair with an Adrienne Bourgès as a teenager. A story that has never known a second act, according to its descendant.

This imperfect reconstruction which did not please Philippe Coupérie-Eiffel. “The public deserved better, at least the truth” he laments in the columns of South West . The one who is also president of the association of Friends of Gustave Eiffel regrets that “The genius of Gustave Eiffel and his work“Are reduced to”a banal love story ”, describing the feature film directed by Martin Bourboulon as “Vaudeville”.

A letter to the producers

Based in Gironde, Philippe Coupérie-Eiffel has been defending the memory of his ancestor for decades. Although he didn’t see the trailer, the man was able to read the script a month ago. A story that he did not appreciate, since he sent a letter to VVZ and Pathé, the co-producers of the film. In his letter, he points out the liberties taken with historical reality and asks that the inscription “Fictionalized fiction” be added at the start of the film.

A procedure far from being a first for him. Already in 2011, he had Eiffage and its subsidiary “cmetallic onstruction ‘, which he had been suing for five long years for the construction giant to stop using his name in various activities.

More than the part of fiction contained in Eiffel, the man seems uncomfortable with seeing his grandfather’s private life portrayed in a big-budget movie, as he explains to South West : “No matter how great a man’s private life is, it’s what they brought us that guides us, and that goes way beyond fiction.”


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