Best-Selling Book on Prison Literature Now a Movie - “PAPILLON”
on the international best-selling autobiographical books “Papillon”
and “Banco," Papillon follows the epic story of Henri
“Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the
Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in
the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain
his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky
convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for
protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape.
with shocking details about life in one of the world’s most hellish
environments, Charrière’s autobiographical novel became a global
bestseller when it was first published in 1969 and remains a modern
classic in the genre of prison literature.
the glamorous world of Paris in 1931, safecracker Henri “Papillon”
Charrière (Charlie Hunnam) steals a small fortune in diamonds for
local gangster Castili (Christopher Fairbank). Though he avoids
detection, Papillon — whose nickname refers to the butterfly tattoo
on his chest — makes one critical mistake: he withholds a jeweled
necklace from the unforgiving crime boss and gives it to his
girlfriend Nenette (Eve Hewson) instead. In retaliation, Castili
frames Papillon for murder, earning him a life sentence at the
infamous penal colony in French Guiana.
a ship bound for the remote South American prison, Papillon meets
meek currency forger Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who was sentenced to
life for producing counterfeit bonds. There, amid thousands of
violent convicts awaiting their fate, the two men reach an agreement:
Papillon will protect Dega and the stash of money he has hidden. In
exchange, Dega will finance Papillon’s eventual escape plan. Upon
arrival, the shackled prisoners are met by Warden Barrot (Yorick van
Wageningen), who explains the prison’s draconian rules: solitary
confinement for anyone who attempts to escape; the guillotine for
murderers. As they struggle to survive the nightmarish conditions,
which include tropical illness, savage beatings, forced labor and
public beheadings, Papillon and Dega enlist the help of inmates
Celier (Roland Møller) and Maturette (Joel Basman) to stage a daring
escape during a torrential rainstorm. Despite their best efforts, the
plan results in Papillon being sent to solitary confinement for five
grueling years. Emerging as a mere shadow of his former self,
Papillon is transferred to Devil’s Island, where he finds Dega
waiting for him. Surrounded by prisoners who’ve been driven mad by
their time in solitary, the two friends contemplate the hopelessness
of their situation. But Papillon’s relentless desire for freedom
will not be denied.
on the epic true story and international, best-selling books,
“Papillon” and “Banco," “Papillon” is a thrilling
adventure and a powerful portrait of the resilience of the human
spirit, even in the face of utter inhumanity.
opens September 26 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.