• French Competition


Noëlle Pujol

From New York to Hamburg via the city of Rome, Noëlle Pujol’s big, all-encom- passing camera angle captures urban landscapes, railways, seaways and glimpses of trees and zoos on the trail of an elephant whose double family name, Jumbo/ Toto, reflects changing identities. This pachyderm has lived quite a rich, adven- turous life reflecting the tragic, early twentieth-century European fate: caught up, at first, in the dreams of German colonial glory and of Italian fascism afterwards; unlucky in love, acting in films and killing occasionally, his life comes to an end just before World War II. But how does one go about retracing a destiny of such huge dimensions? Noëlle Pujol meets the challenge in solitude – one that is reminiscent of its eponymous character. With a trembling camera as her only weapon, often kept close to the ground to make the animal look like a giant or looking up to the sky as if we were riding on the elephant’s back, she explores – not without mockery – places not imbued with history but firmly embedded in the twenty-first century. It is in such a gap that, between the dark years of exacerbated nationalism and those of bleak and ordinary landscapes in present times, between the huge animal and its modest portrait maker, between a major narrative telling us about roots and identity loss – in addition to a more personal one – that the whole singularity of this film secretly lies, ultimately bringing both extremes closer to one another through a surprising narrative shaped by investigation and adventure. (CG)

  • French Competition

Technical sheet

France, Germany, 2016, Colour, HD, Dolby Stereo, 67’

Original version: french
Subtitles: english
Photography: Noëlle Pujol
Editing: Claire Atherton
Sound: Noëlle Pujol
Casting: Noëlle Pujol

Production: Noëlle Pujol, Andreas Bolm, Noëlle Pujol (pickpocket production)

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– Le Dossier 332, 2012
Histoire racontée par Jean Dougnac 2010
– All the children but one, 2008
– Rien n’a été fait, 2007
Le Préparateur, 2006
– Le Ver, 2006
– Allohajo, 2005
– VAD (Visite à domicile), 2002