|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2016)|
|Directed by||Jan Kounen|
|Written by||Gerard Brach
|Music by||Jean-Jacques Hertz
|Edited by||Jennifer Augé
|Distributed by||UGC Fox Distribution
Columbia TriStar (2004) (USA) (as "Renegade")
Blueberry (French: Blueberry: L'expérience secrète) is a 2004 French film directed by Jan Kounen. It is an adaptation of the Franco-Belgian comic book series Blueberry, illustrated by Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) and scripted by Jean-Michel Charlier. However, the film has little in common with the source material. The film starred Vincent Cassel as the title character along with Michael Madsen and Juliette Lewis. Although the film is a French production, the film is in English because the story is set in America's Wild West in the 1870s. Since the character of Blueberry remains obscure in the States, the film was released on DVD in America in November 2004 under the title Renegade and marketed very much as a conventional Western.
U.S. Marshal Mike Donovan (Vincent Cassel) (referred to as Broken Nose by the native tribe; unlike the comic his nickname is not Blueberry) has dark memories of the death of his first love. He keeps peace between the Americans and the natives who had temporarily adopted and taken care of him. The evil actions of Blount, a "white sorcerer" lead him to confront the villain in the Sacred Mountains, and, through shamanic rituals involving native entheogen Ayahuasca, conquer his fears and uncover a suppressed memory he would much rather deny.
- Vincent Cassel as Mike Blueberry
- Juliette Lewis as Maria Sullivan
- Michael Madsen as Wallace Sebastian Blount
- Temuera Morrison as Runi
- Ernest Borgnine as Rolling Star
- Djimon Hounsou as Woodhead
- Hugh O'Conor as Young Mike Blueberry
- Geoffrey Lewis as Greg Sullivan
- Nichole Hiltz as Lola
- Kateri Walker as Kateri
- Vahina Giocante as Madeleine
- Kestenbetsa as Kheetseen
- Tchéky Karyo as Uncle
- Eddie Izzard as Prosit
- Colm Meaney as Jimmy McClure
Jean Giraud, the famous Franco-Belgian comics creator and the illustrator of the original Blueberry comics, appears in a cameo role in the film, while Geoffrey Lewis, who had appeared in several spaghetti Westerns and his daughter Juliette Lewis play a father and daughter in the movie.
The movie features several elaborate psychedelic 3D computer graphics sequences as a means of portraying Blueberry's shamanic experiences from his point of view. Jan Kounen, the director of the film, drew upon his extensive first hand knowledge of ayahuasca rituals in order to design the visuals for these sequences, Kounen having undergone the ceremony at least a hundred times with Shipibo language speakers in Peru. An authentic Shipibo ayahuasca guide appears in the film and performs a sacred chant. In the film, the exact nature of the entheogenic sacramental liquid which Blueberry (and his enemy, Blount) drink remains undisclosed. During the final visionary scene, however, there is a bowl of leaves shown accompanied by a twisting vine which is probably the ayahuasca vine, Banisteriopsis caapi. Historically, Native Americans living in the Southwest United States, would have had no geographic access to ayahuasca.
Peyote is shown growing in the sacred areas throughout the film, and the buttons are prominently displayed at the end, although the viewer cannot be sure what Runi offers to the Marshal either time.
- "Blueberry". London. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Renegade at the Internet Movie Database
- Blueberry: L'expérience secrète at AllMovie
- Interview of Jean Giraud about the movie (French)