(PARIS) — Wednesday night at 9 p.m ET, ABC airs Notre-Dame: Our Lady of Paris, a documentary about the fire that ravaged the legendary cathedral in April 2019.
It’s told via dramatic, first-hand accounts of the firefighters who saved the structure, as well as the clergy, church administrators and more.
The firefighters are the true heroes of the story, as they risked their lives to keep the cathedral’s nearly 1,000-year-old towers from collapsing.
Producer and director Jules Naudet [shzool naw-DAY] says firefighters are a very special breed: full of “great pride, a great humanity, and a great sense of humor.”
“They are aware of the dangers, but at the same time, this is what they love to do,” he notes. “No one could have stopped them going up these towers…and they were so proud of saving [the cathedral] and doing it without anyone losing their lives…was not an easy challenge….[it]was a kind of a losing proposition at first.”
As the documentary shows, seemingly all of Paris comes together in support as the firefighters battle the blaze. It’s something Naudet hopes will be truly inspiring for people to watch.
“We see that they put their lives on the line for something greater than all of us,” he says, adding that he believes “that moment where everyone got together to try to save something that belonged to all of us” will resonate even more at this time in our history.
“That ray of hope that I hope that this documentary will bring to the people is that when we put our heads together and our sweat and our blood…we can achieve anything.”
“It is really the beating heart of Paris, Notre-Dame,” Naudet adds. “It will be rebuilt and, little by little, we’ll get there.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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