How a trip to Reunion reconciled Jean

France info BIA

France info

Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Salhia Brakhlia filmed in Reunion in the documentary “Public Service”.

DOCUMENTARY – “ It was the only open door to interview Mélenchon “, assures Salhia Brakhlia to HuffPost. The journalist from France info co-directs, with Mouloud Achourthe documentary Public service which is released this Wednesday, November 23 at the cinema. We discover the backstage of the morning of the chain in full preparation of thespring 2022 presidential election.

Thus, for several months, all the candidates for the succession ofEmmanuel Macron went to the microphone of Franceinfo. But there are some for whom the organization was a little more complex: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise. To question him, the journalists of the news channel indeed had to travel… to the island of Reunion. Or about 11 hours by plane (there and back).

We had been negotiating with his staff for months, and it was always ‘no’ Says Salhia Brakhlia. And for good reason, Jean-Luc Mélenchon refused until then categorically to come on the set of Franceinfo. The reason ? ” He was sulking at us because the investigation unit of Radio France conducted an investigation on the financing of his campaign in 2017 », explains the presenter.

Why franceinfo assumed the conditions of Jean-Luc Mélenchon

And to add: There he ended up offering us to come and join him in Reunion in February, it was the only way to have him on the air. “Arriving on the channel a year before the presidential election, the former reporter for Dailywho had rubbed shoulders with Jean-Luc Mélenchon when she was a reporter, therefore immediately jumped at the chance.

We have duties to ensure, namely equality of speaking time but also the plurality of opinions on the air. With the best placed candidate on the left who refused to talk to us, it was complicated to do our job well. So we assumed this decision “, continues Salhia Brakhlia. To hear it, the only question, finally swept away, initially concerned the cost of the trip.

Once arrived in Reunion, the journalist however quickly wanted to make things clear with the person concerned. ” He spent months rotting us. This is not tolerable from a political figure. I told him he couldn’t do thisshe says. For me, a political personality running for president has a responsibility, especially during an election period. It was important to tell him to his face. »

Today, “everything is fine” with Jean-Luc Mélenchon

And to clarify: After that it’s part of the character. It all goes with his character, we know he’s a little touchy but we have to talk to him, but we can’t do it with someone who doesn’t come. »

As you can see in the excerpt from the documentary below, Salhia Brakhlia and Jean-Luc Mélenchon ended up having fun with the situation. And the journalist also has excellent memories of this unexpected trip. ” It was great to move in the middle of the presidential election. You don’t see the same people as when you’re locked in a studio. I was able to meet Reunion people “, she rejoices.

She continues: “ We don’t ask the same questions as on set. When you’re talking to people who have expectations, and you’re right after a candidate, you can convey certain messages. “And to the question of what his current relationship is with the leader LFI, ” Everything is going well “replies the journalist to the HuffPost. ” It stabilized, he came to the set several times since. »

See also on The HuffPost:

How a trip to Reunion reconciled Jean-Luc Mélenchon with franceinfo