Saule Marceau

  • Juliette Achard
  • 2017
    • France
    • Belgium
  • 34 min
  • Production
  • Les Films de la caravane, Cobra Films, le CBA - Centre de l’audiovisuel à Bruxelles, Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains “As children, when the form of a large tree or a rock caught our attention, we’d call it a Marceau willow.” Juliette Achard’s film resembles the strange form that she and her elder brother used to pinpoint in the natural environment during their childhood. Admittedly, the filmmaker has come to shoot a western with Clément, who has pursued their shared taste for this genre by becoming a farmer. So his big workhorse serves as a thoroughbred from the Far West, and the Limousin as a desert. But the visit takes a contemplative and documentary turn that leaves the scenario in shambles. Starting out with the America of the films by Ford, Lang, Mann or Fuller, cleverly woven into the soundtrack, the filmmaker plunges into local history, a maquis that was also home to an internment camp under the Vichy regime. The sounds embody a slice of childhood: a film prepared as a dream of other films, a countryside imagined as a mythical space seen against the foil of a hastily urbanised Parisian suburb. Yet, life on the spot breaks away from these references – to allow the western to rebound all the more forcefully: the small livestock farmer opposes Italian meat producers, the loner survives at the margins of a community that refuses to loan or sell him a plot of land, the cowboy steps in when a cow escapes from the truck… A sister rediscovers how to connect with her brother and, with her camera, circumscribes the crooked shape of the “Marceau willow” that his life has taken. (Charlotte Garson)