OFFICIAL SELECTION / FRENCH COMPETITION   FIDMARSEILLE 2012

World premiere /competitions GNCR prize, Renaud Victor prize  and  Marseille Espérance prize

   

PÉNÉLOPE

 

Claire DOYON

 

 

FRANCE
2012
Colour
Canon 5D
50’

Original version
French
Subtitles
French & english
Photography
Claire Doyon
Sound
Laurent Gabiot
Editing
Frédéric Piet

Production and distribution
Gedeon Programmes

Filmography
- KATAÏ, 2009
- SOLA PERDUTA, ABANDONATA, 2008
- EGMA, 2007
- LES LIONCEAUX, 2002
- LE VENT SOUFFLE OÙ IL VEUT, 2000

Mother of an autistic little girl, director Claire Doyon decides to try and find a way to make her child feel better by undertaking a long journey. Together they travel to the deepest corners of Mongolian Siberia, searching for a shaman with healing powers. From Paris to the Great Steppe, obviously, there is quite a difference in setting. In this western-like epic, the city which only emphasised the child’s suffocating feeling gives way to a huge space in which her movements, although still signs of pain, or apnoea, suddenly take another dimension. With her arms and head lifted up to the sky, her fragile figure slowly seems to blend in the vastness of the bare landscape. Of course, the archaic rituals to which an impressed Pénélope is submitted offer no guarantee of efficiency, and the parents are well aware of that. But they mostly take the trip as a way to try and displace the pain, physically and geographically, to outstrip it and drown it in an unfamiliar culture. Therefore, in this portrait of her daughter, Claire Doyon’s images never settle anywhere, they never merely observe – they rather reveal themselves wholeheartedly, as images made out of love, surrender, showing a slight lack of balance which lets the wind of faith shake them in gusts.

Jean-Pierre Rehm

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