The Minister who should not have been one still is. Appointed on July 6, 2020 as head of the Ministry of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti was confirmed in his position under the new Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, on January 11. A maintenance which confirms the adaptation capacities of the person concerned, as shown in this evening’s documentary.

For almost three years, from the fall of 2020 to the fall of 2023, the Minister of Justice actually agreed to be filmed in his professional life, including when, indicted for illegal taking of interests, he was became the first minister of the Fifth Republic in office to be tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic, then acquitted, on November 29, 2023. No image, however, of his private life: the only time he gives a “kiss” by phone, it’s his mother…

That said, the documentary offers a realistic and harsh dive into the mysteries of power. It shows how the feared lawyer (nicknamed “Acquittator” by his detractors) but novice lost his temper, delighted, before controlling himself to enter the polite world of politics. And do, in thirty months, “more for justice than during [his] career as a lawyer”: pass around sixty laws, increase the justice budget by 40%, inaugurate two penitentiary centers…

This evolution is all the more obvious as the film is built on a back and forth between the significant episodes of these almost three years and its retrospective comments. Beginning with his response, in 1998, to a journalist who asked him if he would accept a ministerial post: “No, no, definitely not: it would be a mess! »

“King Kong on a Leash”

The rest is chaptered in quotations, from “I no longer have the same freedom of speech” to “the problem with the police is justice”. At the chancellery, “the heart either breaks or tans,” warned Robert Badinter, minister of justice under François Mitterrand. “EDM” claims to have “tanned” more than it broke.

However, the insults – “King Kong on a leash” – and the aggressiveness of some people bother him. For example, on June 12, 2021, when Damien Rieu (National Rally) apostrophes him in the street: “There is Macron who sends me his pitbull in Rolex”, before brushing aside: “I don’t argue with Merah’s lawyer. » The sentence refers to the acquittal, on November 2, 2017, of Abdelkader Merah, accused of complicity in the terrorist crimes of his brother Mohammed in March 2012 – but sentenced to twenty years for terrorist criminal association, then on appeal two years more late at thirty.

More rare are the relaxed sequences, like when he chats with young people at a rehabilitation center; when we see Jean-Claude, his dog; and especially when he interacts, in confidence, with his young advisors (Guillem Gervilla, Jonas Bayard, etc.). “It’s a choice to be surrounded by young people (…) so as not to fall into the past. I don’t want to be an old fart. »