THE GROCER'SON, THE MAYOR, THE VILLAGE AND THE WORLD...
FRANCE / BELGIUM 111 MIN, 2020
In Lussas, in the South of France, a small group of people has gathered in what used to be the village grocery store. Among the vineyards and orchards of cherry trees in blossom, a business is being set up that is quite unique in the rural world: an ultra-modern platform for broadcasting documentary films on the Internet.
French filmmaker born in London. Started in cinema as an editor. As a director she first creates independent shorts. Her best remembered films of the period are La police (1988) and Scènes de ménage in 1991, starring Miou-Miou. She then discovers the practice of ’direct cinema’ with the Ateliers Varan and makes several documentaries such as Les patients (1989), Coûte que coûte (1995) and Récréations (1998), which garner multiple awards. Her first fiction feature length movie, Sinon oui, the story of a woman who pretends to be pregnant and kidnaps a child, is presented at the Cannes Film Festival Directors’Fortnight in 1997. Her next film, made for TV, Ça, c’est vraiment toi (2000), an original work, half-documentary, half-fiction, filmed within the walls of the European Parliament, is awarded the great prize at the Belfort Film Festival. After an experience in the theater, Claire Simon returns to documentary with 800 km de différence — Romance (2002) and Mimi (2003), presented at the Berlinale 2003. Her second fiction film, Ça brûle (2006) was also selected for the Directors’ Fortnight in 2006. In 2008, Les bureaux de Dieu (2008) is another half-fiction half-documentary work, with famous actors and actresses as the Family Planning counselors and amateur actresses impersonating real-life women who had come for help or guidance. She directed Gare du Nord (2013), which premiered at Locarno Film Festival, Le bois dont les rêves sont faits (2016) Locarno festival as well and Le concours (2017), which premiered at Venice International Film Festival and won the prize for best documentary. In 2018, her film Young Solitudes was selected at the Berlinale Forum. In addition to working as a director and screenwriter, Claire Simon is a cinematographer and actress. She also teaches at the Universities of Paris 8 and Paris 7, and runs the Filmmaking department at La Fémis.
- IDFA / Netherlands
- RIDM / Canada
- Festival dei Popoli / Italy
- DocPoint Helsinki / Finland
- Thessaloniki TIDFF / Greece
- TrueFalse / USA
- DOXA / Canada
For a filmmaker, a village is a godsend of a microcosm, a wonderful thing to make a film out of, but a fortress that is difficult to conquer and fathom. My passport to satisfy my curiosity was an economic scenario. How can one manage to do what one loves and make a living out of it, whether it be growing fruit, wine making or producing films? I had the impression throughout the 4 years it took to film the series that the same problems were being faced by farmers and broadcasters, the creators of documentaries. And it was my curiosity that allowed me to start up a dialogue. Everyone knows that a village quickly shies away from answering questions and refuses the scrutiny of the outsider who is soon perceived as intrusive, except... Except if one talks about what drives people from morning to nightfall. Are we managing? Can we make a living today by doing what we believe is beautiful and good?
DOKer 2021 — Let IT dok!
The screening is supported by the The French Institute in Russia, Moscow