Seven young autistic adults in a house Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, in the southern Cévennes. Daily chores structure their existence, where each plays their piece, and a form of life is composed on the margins of society, without words.
Neither hostel nor specialised centre. A house: this is how a mother describes the living area – just as Fernand Deligny, who inspired them, formerly called his own in Monoblet – where her son has been living for several years. Judith Auffray keeps the same word for the title of her first documentary feature, filmed in the Tentative “living and welcome house” in Saint-Hyppolite-du- Fort in the Cevennes and created in 2004 by one of Deligny’s former colleagues, Thierry Bazzana. To speak of “house” is a radical departure from the medical structures for autistic youngsters, as these houses welcome them and take them out of confinement by organising their existence around daily tasks; Auffray endeavours to film the youngsters with as much assiduity as they themselves show in accomplishing their tasks: breakfast, laundry, dressing, peeling, etc. Calling it a house connects them to the history of a place and the existence of care. And this is the prosaic setting, the simple naming of a place, where normally novels are written and are long in coming, where the joy and despair of existence play out and are expressed, that the filmmaker gradually populates with words, descriptions and luminous ideas, in a structure as splendid as it is supple. In the second third of the film, the words that appear are taken from letters that Deligny wrote in the late 1970s to the parents of those his care. Then come the words of the parents of the house’s current residents; in the end, the house is humming with gestures, words, ideas and voices that clearly show all the brightness that bathes beings released from their limbos.
PRINT SOURCE: Judith Auffray, firstname.lastname@example.org
Judith Auffray was born in Paris in 1993. After studying painting and drawing at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon, she studied at the cinema faculty at HEAD-Genève, graduating in 2019. Between 2016 and 2019, she made several films in the same region, in living areas that welcome people with autism in the southern Cévennes.
- PRODUCTION : Delphine Jeanneret, Judith Auffray