• French Competition  
  • GNCR Award  
  • Renaud Victor Award


Zoé Chantre

« This film begins on the 5th of March. Every year, on this exact date, an ant comes in under my front door and I watch it. For her, it’s the beginning of spring, for me it’s my mother’s birthday. The ant feeds its queen who then lays eggs and I ask myself the question of whether I do or do not want to have a baby just at the point when my mother, who is suffering from cancer, is approaching the end of her life.” This is how Zoe Chantre introduces her last film to date. We would have figured out that the film is autobiographical, but from several points of view: her own, her mother’s, the ant’s and other entities who feature in this story about existence. Furthermore, a rare trait in this type of undertaking, is the deliberately generous helping of humour. Not only, in terms of the funny side of the various adventures narrated with obvious jubilation, even when things are not going so well, but also the humour that results from the diversity of the filming techniques: a basic animation using a pencils and rubber which we see rubbing things out – a naïve, jolly technique, echoing the DIY solutions to some of the more serious problems addressed in the film. In short, if this is not “an autobiography of everyone” a la Gertrude Stein, it is an expression of the drive to embrace everything openly – from animals to humans, from a Parisian flat to Vietnam, to the squared paper of a schoolboy’s notebook which is endlessly reinvented before our eyes. The film is never imperious, never sententious, rather always forging ahead. Such is the heavy price of this confession – to do it, to advance, like each choice in a game of snakes and ladders (jeu de l’oie), without any forethought or wisdom simply moving forward one step at a time, each move as important as another: a beautiful hymn to the S in scoliosis as a possible, plausible way of standing tall.

(Jean-Pierre Rehm)

  • French Competition  
  • GNCR Award  
  • Renaud Victor Award

Technical sheet

France / 2021 / 83’

Original Version : French.
Subtitles : English.
Script : Zoé Chantre.
Photography : Zoé Chantre.
Editing : Zoé Chantre.
Sound : Zoé Chantre.
Production : Françoise Widhoff (Les films de l’astrophore).
Distribution : Pascale Ramonda (Pascale Ramonda).
Filmography : Tiens-moi droite, 2012.