The real Jacques Mesrine

JACQUES MESRINE TIMELINE (courtesy of Music Box Films)

1936    Birth of Jacques Mesrine in the Paris suburbs of Clichy. His parents are blue-collar workers. His father works in the lace industry.
1956    Departure for the Algerian War, from which he will return three years later with a certificate of good conduct.
1961    Marriage to Maria de la Soledad in Paris (who inspired Sofia’s character in the film). They have three children but separate in 1965.
1962    First prison sentence for robbery.
1966    First encounter with Jeanne Schneider, his female alter ego, with whom he fled to Canada.
1969    Abduction of Quebec billionaire, Deslauriers. Mesrine and Jeanne Schneider are accused of murdering a hotel employee. They are later declared innocent.
1969    Mesrine’s and Jeanne Scheider’s arrest in Texas, extradition to Canada and condemnation to 15 and 10 years of detention respectively.
1972    Mesrine’s escape from the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul penitentiary, which he attacks 15 days later to free his companions. He is declared Public Enemy No. 1 in Canada. He attacks several banks before fleeing to Venezuela.
1972    Return to France.
1973    First arrest before his phenomenal escape from the Compiègne Tribunal, where he takes his own judge hostage. He gets arrested again by commissioner Broussard, whom he welcomes with champagne. From this moment on, he is also considered France’s Public Enemy No. 1.
1977    Publication of Death Instinct, the autobiography he wrote and distribute clandestinely in prison. Famous trial in Paris: through his pranks, Mesrine attracts the media before being condemned to 20 years of prison.
1978    Escape from the La Santé prison with his accomplice François Besse. Attack on the Deauville Casino. First encounter with Sylvia Jeanjacquot, with whom he travels to Italy and London. Attempted abduction of Judge Petit.
1979    Abduction of billionaire Lelièvre. Abduction of the journalist Tillier, whom he leaves for dead. Mesrine explodes in the media, granting interviews and permission to be photographed. A police unit called “anti-Mesrine” is created.
02.11.1979      Mesrine is shot to death in the center of Paris at Place de Clignancourt by the men in Broussard’s unit.  His girlfriend, Sylvia Jeanjacquot, is badly injured.

Mesrine screens this Wednesday
August  24th, 7:30pm
L’Etage  / 624 South 6th Street / Philadelphia, PA
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