Moved by a stroke, Christian Streiff, the former boss of Peugeot-Citroen, has rebuilt. A story interpreted by Fabrice Luchini in the film A man in a hurry. Meet.
Neither his friends. Hardly his family. A siesta. That's all Christian Streiff had managed to save in an overworked agenda. Close the office door. Lie down for a few minutes on the floor. Slip into a sleepy sleep. And leave again faster. Too fast. As it is done with a powerful engine without taking care of the hairpin bend that takes shape in the light of the headlights.
For the former boss of PSA Peugeot-Citroën, the exit of road was brutal. It was May 11, 2008. As 130,000 French each year, the industrialist suffered a stroke, a stroke. His secretary found him inert on the ninth floor of the headquarters of the automobile group, Avenue de la Grande Armée in Paris. He was running out of time. The words suddenly failed him.
Because to wake up from a stroke is sometimes to think you are well, lucid, ready to leave while the letters jostle in the brain. Recompose in a delirious saraband. His daughter Lucie takes a nervous laugh while listening to him speak of "pluance" or "d'ancture" .
Thousand Breton words
Christian Streiff had to relearn how to speak. With the help of his wife Françoise, a Breton girl from Guingamp who became a sophrologist after having been a teacher. By relying on a picture book in Breton of 1000 words, in Paris and in his house on the North coast, in Brittany. But also with the patient support of a speech therapist.
This dizzying abyss for a Cac 40 boss, he tells in I was a man in a hurry , adapted to the cinema by Hervé Mimram, with Fabrice Luchini in the lead role. "A galloping horse, are we saying it ? " Questions the speech therapist interpreted by Leila Bekhti. "Slut," says Fabrice Luchini. "You are almost there. And if, finally, that was life: to be almost there. "Happy are the cracked because they will let the light," said Michel Audiard.
From this black hole, another life has arisen. Less exact and perhaps even more humanly adjusted. "Never play the words, play what is behind, that is to say the truth," says Fabrice Luchini about this great boss he interprets in this film.
This story on the big screen is that of Christian Streiff. But in a very free adaptation. A sublimated portrait, fantasy not to say caricatural. "Of course I was not the crazy boss of the movie. But we must respect the freedom of the artist. His wife, who was doomed to die in the film, was less appreciated. He himself plays the role of an unemployed person.
Ten years after his stroke, Christian Streiff is sitting on the first floor of a cafe open on the esplanade of the Louvre. Savor the beauty of the place. Take his time. A privilege. "I never could have done that before," he observes.
Although he sometimes hesitates for a brief moment just as one does in a dark room, his memory is back. Step by step. Because the walk he has practiced during a crossing of France by the GR5 seems to have beneficial effects, say doctors today, to do this work of reconstruction of memory.
" Fake friends "
Not without having previously paid off "false friends" , but also an agenda that emptied after having to leave PSA. "The days are no longer 36 hours. And time has become a peaceful companion again. The distant echo of a childhood in the East of France with loving parents, outings in the forest with Scout patrols. Do not talk to him about holidays. He remains active. Very. Accompanies start-ups with the same requirement. "Believe yourself better in order to become one," says the Mining Engineer, who graduated from his class.
At the age of 64, he saw subjects that he had sensed when he was a student coming to the fore. "I started an ecology class at the Ecole des Mines. Today we are facing two related issues : the environment and politics. " His way of providing solutions is to support projects like the one worn by Expliseat, which divides the weight of airplane seats by three. "This saves kerosene. A little more for this planet he says "look like a branch over a ravine."
"I was lucky," admits Christian Streiff, who is leaving for a tour of France on foot to meet the industry. But "serene, listening with the will to transmit". And to be honest, soothed.
Cinema. A man in a hurry. Book . Christian Streiff, I was a man in a hurry, ed. of the Cherche Midi.