Dieu est dans les racines (2012)

It’s a place where you cannot see the sky.
All I wanted was to have been born there.
What would it be like to be born on this land, and to see the world the way they do?
The problem is, I have no witnesses for what I lived through.
In any case, the sky is green, and God is in the roots.

This film is composed out of fragments of a story Aurélie Namur told me while I was researching La forêt, une fois about a journey she made into the Amazonian forest (Ecuador) in search of “primitive man”, and how the forest had “judged” her for her presumptions by almost killing her. These memories are set against Super 8 footage from 2011 of her rehearsing the play, Le voyage égaré, which she subsequently wrote, based on this experience.

My aim was originally to use the fragments of the original story as a metaphor for the theatrical experience — for the theatre as a space of infinite possibilities and terrible consequences. However, as work progressed, the sense of that “space” became increasingly “mental”, rather than just “physical”. And so, the result is a film in which the theatre, too, is, perhaps, just another metaphor for that place in which we wish we had been born, where we are always at home, and not at home, from which we will always return without witnesses, and about which the stories we tell are destined never to be believed.

This film was made in close collaboration with the sound designer Olivier Touche.

A film by Peter Snowdon.
With Aurélie Namur.
Sound design by Olivier Touche.
Co-produced by Théâtre Océan-Nord (Brussels, Belgium)/Domaine d’O (Montpellier, France) 2012.

Super 8/DV, black and white (tinted), stereo, 4:3. 14m47s.

For enquries about screenings, please contact Peter