French selection 2019

Rising From the Tsunami


Hélène Robert

Jeremy Perrin

2019France67 min

From a strange luminous forest, a man recounts that a young local woman is regularly visited by the dead who were swept away by the tsunami that devasted the bay some years ago. On the images of trees accompanying his story, small translucid jelly fish are superim­posed. Ghosts and deep waters have invaded the territory. Crossing an emaciated beach that seems to be covered by an enormous tarpaulin, like a cadaver that needs taking away, the filmmakers gather eye-wit­ness accounts. When the tsunami engulfed the place, it opened a breach through which the afterlife has now seeped. Survivors say that wandering souls walk over a bridge in town, and that some people have seen them. The tsunami victims, so they say, are the thwarted dead, their departure has been delayed. These dead are in suspension, which is also perhaps the fate of the living, waiting in this deso­late area where nothing remains. The survivors navigate through the makeshift towns erected after the catastrophe and the towns being rebuilt. One foot in the past, the other in the future, they come together, bear witness and pray to find peace, while, on the coast, breakwaters, huge concrete dykes to hold back the next waves, are being constructed. These breakwaters against the Pacific disfi­gure the landscape, and the memory they embody mingles with an ominous waiting. Colossal walls cutting off access to the sea, where some still scatter the ashes of their dead, while others continue to look for the missing. The breakwaters do not reject the dead and everyone has to live together in this suspended time. 
–Clémence Arrivé

  • Helene Robert is a documentary maker and photographer trained in Fine Arts, collaborating also with journals and publishing. Her visual work explores various real-life scopes : prison guards, consecrated virgins, and Corsican hunters.

  • Jeremy Perrin is qualified in Political Sciences and started writing for cultural projects such as radio broadcasts.
    Their wish to make documentaries came about during the making of their first film A Praga, La Plaie, a study of Porto through its animal legends.

  • PRODUCTION : ELSA MINISINI (Baldanders Films), ELISABETH PAWLOWSKI (Baldanders Films), JEAN BAPTISTE FRIBOURG (La Societé des Apaches), FRANCIS FORGE (La société des Apaches)

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