French Selection 2020

A Man Leaning

L'Homme qui penche

Marie-Violaine Brincard

Olivier Dury

2020France94 minColour


A major poet of the end of the 20th century, Thierry Metz (1956 – 1997) worked as a manual laborer and seasonal hand in the southwestern France. He transformed each stage in his life into poetic material.  This film aims to bring to light the tragic intensity of his brief existence together with the radicalness of his artistic commitment.

“This tiny thing, he says, is a whole book.” The first poem by Thierry Metz that we hear in the film hints at what the poet’s oeuvre will be. Poetry is everywhere – in small household things, in a resting body, in men working on the building site. The film tunes in, attentive to the quotidian, capturing small variations of light, the movement of the wind, the dust in a house. Metz’s poems follow on, accompanying the images. The chronology of his work depicts his labouring jobs, his family life, his constant and radical devotion to writing. The poet never appears in the images but the shots are habitable and other people settle in, people that Metz might have met and who his writings call into existence. He resonates with some silhouettes, some working bodies, some passers-by. But his presence is fleeting and the film seems rather to trace the itinerary of an absence. The tragedies that hinder writing and devour follow on in succession in the poet’s life, heralding in writing his slow disappearance. Days no longer pass by, the film goes into mourning. The shots grow darker but, although the tragedy intensifies, attention to the everyday does not dwindle, sustaining the slow rhythm of a protracted time that cannot stop. And if the outcome is palpable, it is with a shot on an upright tree which remains intact that the « Homme qui penche » opens and closes. “Nothing has moved. The wall is intact. The mason is linked only to what he makes. And which holds good. Veiled by death. That all presences veil from us.”

Clémence Arrivé

PRINT SOURCE: Survivance,

Olivier Dury & Marie-Violaine Brincard

A graduate of Vancouver Film School in Canada, Olivier Dury is a director and cameraman. In 2008, he made his first documentary, Mirages, then Sous le ciel in 2012. He is currently writing a fiction film. 
With a higher teaching certificate in modern literature and holding a Masters 2 in audiovisual production, Marie-Violaine Brincard teaches literature and film. In 2010, she made her first film, Au nom du Père, de tous, du ciel, in Rwanda. After Si j’existe, je ne suis pas un autre in 2014, L’Homme qui penche is the second film they have co-directed. 

  • PRODUCTION : Carine Chichkowsky (Survivance)
Press Kit