Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | October 12, 2010

About Ingrid, French also say, Suffit!

A comic book about Ingrid Betancourt’s story, Ingrid de la Jungle (Ingrid of the Jungle), is available in bookstores in France. Warning: It’s highly politically incorrect and bordering on insensitive. The heroine works with the guerrillas to fake her own kidnapping only to realize they don’t adhere to their previous agreement. Which is scarily close to the real story: Ingrid thought she, a presidential candidate, was too high-profile to be kidnapped and because she’d met with the FARC Secretariat days before, she did not think herself a target. As satire goes, the comic strip is funny.

The heroine is Ingrid Pétancourt, a young politician kidnapped by the FARCE rebels in the tropical country of Equatorial Colombine. The heroine is a devout Catholic one day, a selfish hostage the next. The story is told from a French perspective, and it’s a caricature of the jungle and the guerrillas, as the French imagine it.

You can read an extract here.

One of the writers, Serge Scotto, said, “The idea occurred to me on the day she was rescued. I was sitting with a group of comic authors at a book fair when suddenly the mayor of the town appeared. There were bells, flags and a grand improvised speech to announce her being freed. It was so exaggerated, as if it had been France’s liberation in 1945! It was too much, and I decided that somebody had to make fun of it.”

Added the writer, “The sad thing is that nobody will care about any other hostage for another ten years or so. … Look at the difference in media attention given to the two French journalists kidnapped in Afghanistan. We never even hear about the FARC in the media any more!”

The comic also takes shots at the whole French political establishment: There’s Sarko (obviously current President Nicolas Sarkozy), who plays the French interior-minister-turned-president whose minute height is unlike his ego. His main dream is to marry a tall and beautiful singer and he does; he marries Carla Bruti, a singer who won a contract to become the unpopular president’s wife. There is also Dominique de Grillepain (modeled after former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who was once Ingrid’s professor at Sciences Po in Paris) who swears eternal love to Pétancourt.

The fact the comic obtained a publisher shows the French, too, have had their share of Ingrid and “Ingridisms.” Suffit! Suffit!

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Responses

  1. This sounds great. I’m going to try to get a copy. Thx for tip.

  2. I only wish my French were better! The Betancourt case is rife with opportunities for satire. The lawsuit, of course, tops it all. I sure hope the comic writers got mileage out of that one. It is unfortunate she endured what she did. Seen from a different lens, the story could be classic tragedy. Hubris, Betancourt assuming she was safe to begin with; arrogance, her behavior in captivity; a fall from grace… Someone could turn this into a truly cathartic tragic work…


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