When mom comes home from work beaten

This is Petra. Her program to maintain employment as a stuntwoman includes weights and the occasional botox.Image: bandapartfilms

Assessment

They take a lot – and occasionally fly through the air with Tom Cruise. The documentary “Cascadeuses” shows three stuntwomen and their incredible daily work.

Simon Meier
Simon Meier

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It’s quite a journey to go from the Basilisk Children’s Circus to Hollywood alongside Tom Cruise in Minority Report. If only as a faceless consumable that flies through the air when exploded. Instantly replaceable should one fail due to an accident. Between the circus for the little ones and Hollywood was Cirque du Soleil for the Basel stuntwoman Petra Sprecher, because many stuntwomen start their careers as artists like her. Have perfect control over the body. And strength. And endless courage. Or maybe just the greatest peace in the world.

Director Elena Avdija, who was born in Pristina and grew up in Jura, portrayed Petra together with Estelle and Virginie in the documentary “Cascadeuses – Stuntfrauen”. French Virginie Arnaud has been a stuntwoman for almost 30 years, before that she worked as a designer in a Parisian cabaret, she was in “Lucy” by Luc Besson, “Fast & Furious”, “RED” and a good 250 other productions. , today, in At an age she doesn’t want to reveal, she prefers to work as a stunt coordinator, choreograph mass fights or train her daughter, who also shows a certain affinity for being professionally beaten.

Here, Virginia (right) gives her daughter a pat on the head.  And no, the two don't have any family problems.  On the contrary.  A daughter admires her mother more than anything else.

Here, Virginia (right) gives her daughter a pat on the head. And no, the two don’t have any family problems. On the contrary. A daughter admires her mother more than anything else. Image: bandapartfilms

“Were you ever afraid?” asks the daughter. “For the life of me? Never. Not with stunts,” the mother replies. When the daughter came home early, she often found her mother beaten to black by the stove. And Virginia often picked her child up from school wearing sunglasses. Where others would suspect to domestic violence, Virginia knew that she went to work normally and everything was fine.

Trailer for the movie “Cascadeuses”

When Virginie, Petra and Frenchwoman Estelle Piget – who was still in training at the time of filming – became stuntwomen, they had a completely different idea of ​​what it meant to be. They thought of action scenes similar to those filmed by men. In which they double the active heroines. Fly, defuse bombs, fight. Instead, he has to play the victim. Women are beaten, choked, kicked, raped, killed by men. And then also in high heels. This annoys her. But now it’s mainstream. In “CSI”, in “Tatort”, in thousands of other films and series that deal with violence and crime.

Estelle is still training in this picture.  Since then she has had more than 30 appearances, for example in

Estelle is still training in this picture. Since then she has had more than 30 appearances, such as in “Emily in Paris” and “The Serpent Queen”.Image: bandapartfilms

We see Virginia as a prostitute who gets kicked in the stomach over and over again. Estelle is thrown down the stairs, she gets back up, it’s okay, okay, her head is buzzing a bit and her legs are blue, but the scene isn’t there yet, she flies down the stairs a few more times. Petra tells her mother on the phone how she was killed in a shooting in “Westworld”, she has nothing else to do, but working for HBO is super, total luxury, not only does she have to fall on the floor, but on a really good exercise mat that looks like a marble floor .

From a career like Zoë Bell, probably the most famous stuntwoman in the world, who has been in all of Tarantino’s films and who gave Tarantino almost an entire film with “Death Proof” to play with her name and face, three can only dream. They do a little. Petra herself would like to be in the center of attention.

Zoë Bell, Quentin Tarantino's collaborator, hardcore muse and heroine.

Zoë Bell, Quentin Tarantino’s collaborator, hardcore muse and heroine.Image: www.imago-images.de

Petra and Virginia share Zoë Bell’s love of super-fast cars that can train like horses, so car and woman grow together. And it’s the best job opportunity in old age, when many things on your own body have already broken down. You can just sit in the car and drive. A car is like an office job for stuntmen. If nothing else works, “Fast & Furious” still works.

It’s a fascinating, surreal look at the kind of high-end sport that already expects to break bones. And in which some provide their entire body art that looks confusingly similar to reality so that the stars suffer and die as naturally as possible. Women know what they are getting into. What they get out of it, Estelle explains, is a rush of freedom: “It’s a liberating life. Knowing that you can jump from 70 meters. We’re having fun inside.”

“Cascadeuses” will be in cinemas from November 17.

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