Lafayette in the Americas: the search for a destinyBack to the list
Directors: Gil Kébaïli
Producer: Grand Angle Productions
Coproducers: Arte & TV5 Monde
Language: French & English
Country of Production: France
Lafayette in the Americas, the search for a destiny tells the story of the involvement of the young Marquis de Lafayette in the American War of Independence. This war, waged for economic reasons, saw the decisive involvement of France, which thus contributed to the birth of the world’s greatest power. Through the contemporary investigation of young writer Arnaud Delalande, we follow the young Lafayette and, with him, we experience the conflict through the secret diplomacy orchestrated by the genius Benjamin Franklin and also through the feats of arms of the legendary George Washington. We discover how Lafayette went off to live his dream of glory on the other side of the world.
October 9 1781, Yorktown (Virginia)
In a few minutes, a decisive battle will be launched by General George Washington and his rebel troops against the British army. George Washington is assisted by a young French aristocrat, the Marquis de Lafayette, and his troops are combined with French divisions sent by Louis XVI to aid in the fight against the English soldiers. The issue of this battle will decide the fate of the United States of America. If the Americans emerge victorious, they win their independence, but if the opposite happens, they will remain Thirteen Colonies under the yoke of the British Crown.
What miracle brought it about that France, which was a Catholic monarchy, should be fighting alongside this young, Protestant Republic that was the United States? How did this American War of Independence make it possible for the young Lafayette to become its symbol and live out his dream of glory when he was then no more than a second-degree aristocrat at the Court of France?
Using the form of drama documentaries, 3D map animation and period iconography, we retrace the extraordinary events that, from Versailles to Yorktown, decided the destiny of a nation, that of the United States of America. We delve into the secrecies of French and American diplomacy. We realize how a venerable American scientist, Benjamin Franklin, pulled strings in Paris so that the King of France helped his countrymen win the war and also how, through political calculation, he helped a young French adventurer, the Marquis de Lafayette, escape the fashionable world of the Court to embrace his dream of glory on the far side of the world.
From New Jersey to Virginia, we visit the battle fields of that war and we relive the decisive encounters between Lafayette and the key players in this most unusual story, whose roles, secret or official, left their mark on the course of History. We will learn how this young Marquis de Lafayette, barely twenty years old when he set sail for the New World in quest of glory, became and still remains today the symbol of this French alliance with the new-born Republic of the United States of America.
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