Nadia Comaneci, 40 ans après l’exploit sur Arte

Nadia Comaneci avait 14 ans. Un jour de juillet 1976, une jeune fille entre dans l’histoire. Dans le documentaire « Nadia Comaneci, la gymnaste et le dictateur », réalisé par Pola Rapaport, Arte revient 40 ans après l’exploit du 10 parfait sur l’histoire de cette gymnaste devenue une légende et un outil de propagande. Quand sport, destin hors norme, légende, histoire et politique se retrouvent dans un brillant documentaire de 56 minutes. Le film, qui est en fait un récit à la première personne, croise des extraits de l’autobiographie publiée en 2003 par Nadia Comaneci, Letters to a young gymnast, avec d’autres témoignages (dont ceux de Béla Károlyi, désormais entraîneur au Texas, et de Gabriela Geiculescu, une ancienne coéquipière) et de nombreuses archives.

Béla Károlyi, ancien entraîneur de Nadia Comaneci
Béla Károlyi, ancien entraîneur de Nadia Comaneci

Sous le regard de millions de téléspectateurs, Nadia Comaneci réalise un exploit sans précédent aux Jeux Olympiques de Montreal. 10/10, une icône vient de naître. Historique. L’exploit est tel que même les panneaux d’affichage des notes n’arrivent pas à inscrire la note exacte de cet enfant venu d’Onesti, ce « village caché au creux des Carpates roumaines ». Le « petit ange aux rubans rouges » ira même remporter un total de trois titres olympiques lors de ces JO 1976.

Mais Nadia Comaneci vivait en Roumanie, l’une des plus dures dictatures du bloc de l’Est au plus fort de la guerre froide entre les Etats-Unis et l’URSS. La République socialiste de Roumanie était alors dirigée d’une main de fer par Nicolae Ceausescu à une époque où les exploits sportifs ne pouvaient être qu’instrumentalisés qu’à des fins de propagande politique. En effet, Nadia Comaneci et son entraîneur Béla Karolyi deviennent au fil des titres et des exploits des figures clés de la propagande des Ceausescu. Manipulés mais aussi surveillés par le régime.

Après une première diffusion le 23 août sur Arte dans le cadre d’une soirée Thema présentée par Emilie Aubry, le documentaire, qui est disponible sur la plateforme Arte + 7 , sera rediffusé dimanche 28 août à 16h40 sur Arte (coproduction Roche productions / Arte France). Il commence par les mots suivants, à la première personne de Nadia Comaneci :

« J’étais discrète. Je ne cherchais pas à me distinguer des autres gymnastes. La première fois que je suis entrée dans un gymnase, j’étais persuadée que ma place était là. La gymnastique m’amusait et je n’avais peur de rien. J’en faisais plus que ce qu’ont me demande et je revenais m’entraîner jusqu’à maîtriser le moindre geste, je voulais être parfaite ».

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