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22 days


France, United-States, 2021

Production : Nusquam Productions

Programmed by Benoît Hické

English, French, Italian, German

French, English



A river flows out to sea through a network of wetlands, salt marshes, and petrochemical plants. A melting glacier, its surface covered in protective cloth, still attracts tourists. Slow Return bridges the Rhone River’s extremities, where the natural environment is a resource and commodity, exploring shared legacies of dependence and exploitation embedded in their landscapes.

Tënk's opinion

If documentary film is a journey, then Philip Cartelli’s movie is an odyssey. But it’s an odyssey on the scale of the collective, which puts direct cinema, an anthropological approach and the sensitive experience on nothing less than an equal footing. Watching “Slow Return”, we’re reminded of an entire family of like-minded films… such as those of Dominique Marchais for the taste of a place, or Armin Linke’s “Alpi” for the exposure of the Alps’ crust. It also brings to mind the wanderings of philosopher Matthieu Duperrex in the Bouches du Rhone department, or primitive ethnographic filmmaking and the attentive look that pioneers took at human communities. Cartelli is a filmmaker who operates with restraint, like a mountain dam, giving us time to breathe in the details of the world. They’re sometimes insignificant, but brought together by our subjectivity and attention, they allow us to recompose these places, and understand that this slow return is a chance to find a totally inner path.

Benoît Hické
Programmer and professor

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4