Lisa Azuelos: A Strong Defender of Women

Lisa Azuelos is a multi-talented woman. She is a director, screenwriter, actress, producer and writer. She is also one of the world’s strongest voices for women’s issues and causes expressed through her writing and film.

She was born on 6 November 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, but she has origins from Morocco. She is the daughter of the Moroccan Jewish businessman Juda Azuelos, who was a close friend of the Moroccan leader Mehdi Ben Barka. Her mother is none other than the singer and actress Marie Laforêt, with whom she lived with for only a few years but was very much influenced by her.

She was only two years old when her parents divorced. She lived for years in a Swiss shelter after being abandoned by her mother and her brother before joining her father at the age of 12. During this time she discovered her Moroccan culture and Sephardic origins through her grandmother and aunts, who had a strong influence on her. She dedicated a film to them in 2006, as a tribute to these women and to all the Oriental Jewish women living in Paris, whom she got to know and be touched by their stories.

After her bachelor’s degree, Lisa Azuelos studied business management and entered the world of finance and business like her father, however, she did not continue her studies, choosing to study cinema. This choice was greatly reinforced by her meeting with French director Luc Besson, as well as her husband, director Patrick Alessandrin, with whom she had three children before divorcing him after 11 years of marriage.

Her tense relationship with her mother was strongly present in her film “Lol”, which revolves around the relationship between mothers and daughters. She directed it in collaboration with her daughter Carmen. The main character was played by Sophie Marceau. This film was a great success in French cinemas, but its American version, played by Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus, was a bitter failure, due to poor marketing of the film in the USA.

The same idea was evoked in another film, “Mon bébé”, which she directed in 2018, but the most famous of her films remains the Franco-Italian film “Dalida”, directed in 2017 based on the story of the legendary star. This film won numerous awards at various international festivals.

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