• French Competition

LE SENTIER DES ASPHODÈLES

THE TRAIL OF THE ASPHODELS

Maxime Martinot

A map appears on the screen in fragments – the “trail of the asphodels”, a circuit hike somewhere in Brittany. For the duration of the film, beekeeper Jean and his dog Léon walk the entire path, the camera in their wake. From his very first steps, Jean launches into a wildly inspired soliloquy, a half-mystical, half-burlesque gloss on the filmmaker’s own approach: a shaggy, bountiful exploration of the area the path crosses. Far from being content to follow the linear route, the tale multiplies the swerves, pauses and detours in space and time. Maxime Martinot and his filming accomplices invent an animal camera as stealthy and on the lookout as Léon trotting back and forth along the path, offering the fragile beauty of an image that doesn’t seek to capture anything in particular but allows itself to be seduced, its attention caught by everything it sees. The walk leads to encounters both random (a hare, some hikers) and organised (some donkey breeders, au hasard). The editing, impressive with its syncopated liveliness, tears holes in the fabric of time: Jean hears voices speaking Breton to him, and his arrival at a farm conjures up fragments of a family album. From one discovery to the next, Jean ends up an older version of himself, predicting his own future. Without losing its luminous light touch, The Trail of the Asphodels then opens up to the gloomier horizon of ecological disaster – the disappearance of bees and the last remaining slopes. Allowing yourself to do anything whilst sticking to a path… a blueprint for life and how to inhabit this world takes shape during this walk along the asphodel trail. The area is far, far vaster than the map. 

Cyril Neyrat

  • French Competition

Technical sheet

France / 2023 / 87’

Original version: Breton, French, English
Subtitles: English, French
Script: Maxime Martinot
Photography: Raimon Gaffier
Editing: Léo Richard
Sound: Marion Cros
Cast: Marius Loris Rodionoff, Guillaume Jestin, Léon le chien

Production: Clément Schneider (Les Films d’Argile)
Contact: Maxime Martinot

Filmography:

LE FILM QUE VOUS ALLEZ VOIR, 2023, 11′
Festivals: Cinéma du Réel, Indie Lisboa, DOXA

OLHO ANIMAL 2022, 80’
Festivals: Visions du Réel, New Horizons IFF, Black Canvas FCC, Doclisboa

LES ANTILOPES 2020, 8’
CÉSAR 2022: Nominated for Best Documentary Short Film
Festivals: DocLisboa, Festival dei Popoli, Hot Docs, Go Shorts (…)
Awards: Prix du Jury & Prix du Public (FUSO Video Arte), Gran premio (Tenerife Shorts)
Support: Support after completion (CNC)
Collection: EDP Foundation Art Collection (MAAT, Lisbonne)

HISTOIRE DE LA RÉVOLUTION 2019, 30’
Festivals: Cinéma du Réel, Dok Leipzig, Busan ISFF, Côté Court (…)
Awards: Grand Prix André S. Labarthe (Entrevues Belfort)

TROIS CONTES DE BORGES 2014, 75′
Theatrical release: July 4, 2018
Festivals: FID Marseille, Free Zone IFF, FIF de La Roche-sur-Yon (…)
Awards: Prix de Beauregard & Prix Institut Français (FID Marseille)