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Mark without leaving a trace

How can a movie draw the public’s attention to the issue of climate change? To address this, the Cannes Film Festival invited seven filmmakers and documentaries to share a vision of the relationship between humanity and the environment. The RFI met the team behind Queen Velvet, a passionate and breathtaking expedition to Tibet.

“Cinema acts as a whistleblower,” said Thierry Frémaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival, at the beginning of a press conference on film for the climate, saying that filmmaking is a way to draw attention to important environmental issues. Insisted.

Fremaux further said that in addition to the screening, the festival took various steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This includes the use of red carpets made from recycled materials, the eradication of PET bottles, the use of hybrid energy cars to transport celebrities, online tickets and virtual press documents.

The festival has also chosen to donate to six international and national organizations that specialize in environmental projects such as reforestation.

Cyril Dion, director of the French documentary filmmaker Animal, pointed out that cinemas could offer other solutions. “I think movies can play a role in the future. We are storytellers and can make a big impact on other people.”

And that’s where the movie comes in.

Look together

One of the great examples of this is the movie “Lapantere de Neige” (Queen of Velvet) directed by Franco Swiss Marie Amige. She takes her to the dizzying heights of eastern Tibet with wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and French writer and adventurer Sylvain Tesson, whose book of the same name won the 2019 Literary Award. Will give you.

Tesson admits that he has never stopped seeing landscapes like this in all his travels to Asia and the grasslands. Thanks to Munier’s extraordinary nature observation techniques, he realized that he was actually being monitored. By whom?

The sharp eyes of almost invisible animals roaming the plateaus and mountains where the documentaries are located.

“Munier taught me to let go of the impatience,” says Tesson. Gradually he sees things he has never seen before and “reads” the landscape in new ways.

Between myth and reality

The result is a hymn to breathtaking beauty and a love letter to nature.

Marie Amige herself admits that the entire project was a love effort. She agrees to move with the two men to an altitude of 4,000 to 6,000 meters, as well as sit and wait for hours in case she sees the famous “snow leopard.” This is a game of cats and mice.

This movie is very simply magnificent. The director and assistant director Leo Pol Jacot are very modest and forget that they are there. We’re completely obsessed with the subject, and then logistically wonder how it was possible.

“This is not Requiem,” says Tesson, explaining that the film is not going to blame us.

“Marie is not a cop and is not trying to idolize nature,” he continues, but rather she shows us beautiful things that need our respect and protection, and therefore fragile things. I will.

There’s a nice scene of interaction with local Tibetan nomads, where the film crew uses the camp as a base, and interaction with toddlers who find cameras and telephoto lenses attractive.

The world is full of contradiction

And the cherry on the cake, a special soundtrack, was composed and performed by Warren Ellis and Nick Cave. It’s music that is completely eye-catching as you roam the lonely moonscape.

“We live in a world full of contradictions, and filming is inconsistent. Was it helpful to go to Tibet, what would be achieved there, something else about Tibet, somehow, Somehow … I often think we should just stay home and protect what’s around us, “Amiget told journalists.

“I wanted to share all my experiences in Tibet and touch people. That’s probably a bit exaggerated, but the film goes a step further,” Munier told the RFI.

“Cinema is not enough as a tool to change the world. We do what we can. We are full of paradoxes. I want to keep showing beautiful things. We slowly take ours. You should take a look at the beauty around you. “

“Why did you go this far? I did it to escape. The nature around my house (the Vosges Mountains in France) has been damaged. It is me who decides whether other species will survive. Sylvain has found the right words to move. People on this topic, “he says.

Look out the window

“It was an opportunity to change myself,” Tesson told the RFI. “You will be a passenger of time and wait for the world to come to you instead of chasing you.”

“Just sit down, open your eyes and leave the world as it is. It’s wonderful, beautiful, and bigger than a person.”

“The whole landscape is one big” rock opera “. Must see. The great tragedy that humanity is living in now is that no one is paying attention. We look in the wrong place and instead of looking in the mirror. Out of the window. “

Originally published on RFI

Mark without leaving a trace

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