PREMIER ROYAUMEFIRST KINGDOM
Facing up to the outrage of death, warding it off and keeping track of events is the
generous ambition that drives this film, offered up as a libation. When he learns
of his mother’s illness, Ioanis Nuguet leaves Bali where he works in theatre and
decides to make a film with her. This was the seed that grew into First Kingdom,
first to accompany her in her struggle, and ultimately to carry out the task of
mourning after the distress of death that eventually takes her, awakening others
from the dead. From Bali to France, filming her and her loved ones, the film
establishes a dialogue between the living and the dead, and Nuguet-as-filmmaker
is their go-between. Drawn in by the lyricism of the staggering editing that thwarts
death’s partings, we’re carried away in a maelstrom of images, places and gestures.
This is first shown by the disordered chronology, replaying the secret presences
and connections between times, between death and life. And very few words are
spoken, giving star billing to the power of the music and the movements of the
bodies, sometimes acting or miming, captured in the flow of a moving camera.
The film moves back and forth from one realm to another, from people to the
elements – water, fire – whose substance recalls rites, Balinese shadow theatre
and the portrayal of dreams… In the form of a great poem, free and independent
with, in its heart, cinema and its potencies, this film rises to the challenge of
accommodating reality in order to transform it. Filmmaking as an ode to the
virtues of fakery and imagination. A film in which the unborn and the departed are
reunited in what’s both a quest and a longing for peace. A little like a ritual, the
kind we invent, and a paradoxical monument to life and a dead mother.
Original Version : balinais, French.
Subtitles : English, French.
Script : Ioanis Nuguet, Adrien Nuguet.
Photography : Ioanis Nuguet.
Editing : Ioanis Nuguet.
Sound : Bruno Ehlinger.
Production : Charles de Meaux (Anna Sanders Films).
Filmography : Spartacus et Cassandra, 2015.
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