The setting: a mental hospital in Evreux on the eve of its demolition. Reshuffling the cards by disconnecting pictures from sound, edited with partial synchronisation, Quentin Brière Bordier focuses on the sounds of material life. The snapping of the barber’s scissors, the purring of an electric shaver, the clinking of cutlery magnified by gorgeous black and white. Devoid of words, the film departs from testimonies and rather pays close attention to faces and the ritualized gestures of daily life. Such scrutiny is absolutely devoid of nostalgia for the dilapidated walls of these outdated, prison-like rooms. And while inside the facility is slowly getting empty, condemning the last remains of past lives to vanish, and outside destruction is raging – wrecked walls, trees rooted out to the sound of thunderous chainsaws - we catch a glimpse of prostrate, stubbornly silent bodies. Obviously, from fallen trees to these last men, Quentin Brière Bordier invites us to shift our gazes beyond compassion in order to – as the title inspired by Murnau suggests – remember a humanity which is also ours. (FIDMarseille)
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