Investigation & Politics 4K 52'

The Ordinary Heroes

After the horror of terrorist attacks, in France and abroad, the media regularly report numerous testimonies where it is about gestures of mutual aid and humanity of certain people having taking tremendous risks to save others lives. Even if they deny it, these men and women are often presented as true heroes.

We all asked ourselves these questions that refer to our own condition: "What if I had been there? Would I have been able to brave my fear and do like them? Do I also have the potential of a hero?" To understand the human mechanism that allows some to switch from an ordinary attitude to an extraordinary posture, the documentary goes to meet those who at a given moment had this heroic behavior.

The film deciphers the reasons that allowed certain people to be able to switch from the ordinary to the extraordinary at a given moment. By listening to them, by reconstructing their history, we will seek what they have "more". Are there elements in their daily lives or in their past that made them have what some psychiatrists call "the potential personality"? Is there a gene of heroism or an education that promotes this ability to become one?

The story is constructed by following the research of the American scholar Abigail Marsh who works on this phenomenon which leads people to action and on altruistic people particular brain characteristics. Abigail Marsh demonstrates that those who act to save people recognize others fear more easily and detect someone's distress better than the average. Abigail Marsh knows what she's talking about. She became interested in this phenomenon after she herself was saved by an anonymous man she never saw again. Her work resonates with these heroes who will testify.

Direction: Guy Beauché

Production: Bonne Compagnie for France Télévisions

awards & festivals

  • Festival du Film Scientifique de la Réunion

    Official selection

see also