Living in Nyon is continuing this week with reviews of films at the Visions du Réel film festival. The festival closes on Wednesday evening so you still have time to catch some films! Here is Kathy Morf ’s fifth review from the festival and is of the film “People I could have been and maybe am”. This will be shown again today 11 April at 22:00 at the Capitole 2 Cinema. This is an international premiere.
Kathy says; “This movie was a surprise to me. I was expecting something very different. It’s the first picture I’ve seen filmed with a mobile phone. It was cleverly done. I am sure each one has once wondered what it would be like being in someone else’s shoes. This is precisely what film director Boris has done. The story of Steve and Sandrine, struggling to make their life work, makes me reflect on my own life and relationship. I would highly recommend this film“.
A story of two lives
The movie begins in the streets of London. We can hear telephone conversations on public transport. They are intertwined with scenes of commuters and give rhythm to the film. The city is speaking to the viewers through these conversations. They are about relationships. A series of short intertitles tell us what Boris is feeling and informs us what is happening. The story is sequenced by a bit of each person’s life going back and forth from Steve to Sandrine.
Photos above: courtesy Visions du Réel.
Steve used to be a cook. He was in an accident and had to have one leg amputated. From then on his life falls apart. He has been living on the streets for many years. The camera zooms in and we see that he is inhaling the vapours of a piece of scrap aluminium foil. This helps him forget the pain, not being part of a family, not having a relationship, not being loved by someone and feeling needed. The camera follows him wobbling along the streets with his crutches. He has a daughter. She has recently tried to find him. He carries her letter in his coat pocket everyday and cannot forget her. He has not yet made the effort to contact her. He is scared of her reaction. He wants to stop the drugs but instead starts drinking. Then he meets Precious, a jazz singer, and they fall in love. Life is marvellous again and they both drink together. He buys her a ring.
Sandrine comes from Igazu, Brazil. She left her son to live in London and give him a better life. She has been struggling to find a stable relationship. She is registered on dating pages and constantly receives text messages. Boris follows her from place to place and slowly falls in love with her, but there is no room for another man on her list of seven potential marriage partners. She misses her son and calls him regularly, promising to come and visit and bring the presents he asks for. Sandrine leaves Boris for another man. It turns out to be short lived when he finds all her text messages and begins calling her long list of lovers. She is alone again. Homesick and tired she plans to go back home.
Film directed by Boris Gerrets – Netherlands – 54 minutes in length
Spoken in English, Subtitles in French