While pregnant, I film Axelle, my mother, whose life is coming to an end next to the ocean. My daughter will be born at home. Axelle does not want to die in hospital. Home births, unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortions… Axelle’s tales are paths where the forces of life and death are inseparable.
“I want to see her, to hear what she’s got to say”. Expressing this desire one sleepless night, the director decides to film her sick mother. The movie follows their conversations and reveals a life resolutely lived off the beaten track. Perhaps sensing her approaching end accentuates the way in which Axelle interweaves life and death – the fact remains that the woman speaks with rare frankness and wisdom about subjects such as motherhood and euthanasia. Home births, illegal abortions and other ordeals and challenges have, each time, been a matter of necessity and nothing to do with morals. Dotted with timeless sequences in black & white analogue film of children playing and frolicking, “Wild Grasses” gives us an incredible image in one of the final scenes. The masterful sound means that this moment is part of the same modest, tactful handiwork as the whole, whilst managing to preserve its staggering beauty.
Journalist and critic