Programmed by Dominique Démaret
Compétition Internationale - Visions du réel 2021
In a small village in eastern France, the same gestures are carried on daily. Chopping wood, milking cows, sewing a garment, growing vegetables from the earth… These are all actions repeated from generation to generation, day after day, until bodies are exhausted. Through the figure of his father, the narrator evokes a childhood spent in this village and his relationship to a place where devotion to work is the daily routine of its inhabitants.
The director pays tribute to his father who died in a work-related accident. The text accompanying each tableau immerses us in the life of his childhood village, but with the images and sound, he takes us on a sensitive and personal journey of humankind at work. The extraordinarily beautiful close-up filming of hands, movements and metal envelops us in sensations where the slow motion is reminiscent of a caress. It’s this fusion with matter and tools that moved me. Labour chains the man to his machine, but he regains his freedom as he roars off on his motorbike. His grandmother takes us back to the land, and we become aware of and sensitive to it once more. Living without respite for fear that it’ll end is what keeps us going, but nature, to which we belong, takes its revenge. This is a tale to imagine the life we want for tomorrow.
Tënk subscriber and member of the “Films en route” 2021 jury