“At certain times in my life, I’ve felt so overwhelmed that I almost fell to my knees in front of words, they seemed so obscure, they became almost sacred, and the fear of not knowing them paralysed me.” Gérard describes what life’s like if you’re illiterate, your struggle to survive. At last, today, at the age of forty-seven, he’s learned to read and write, but the simple things of everyday life continue to cause him crippling anxiety. How do you get a job? How do you become a father and pass down your knowledge? How do you learn to love yourself again? This film is a testimony to the endeavours of a man in search for his identity. It’s an account of his rite-of-passage, his gradual progress towards knowledge, an inner journey to reconquer his self-image, his place in society, and finally become the agent of his own life.
Avec le soutien de la Scam
Sometimes documentary cinema involves remarkable protagonists, ordeals to overcome, conflicts, obstacles, emotion and suspense. “Au Pied de la Lettre” uses an implacable dramaturgical grammar to take us with Gérard on his journey and make identification work to its full potential. The movie also uses something rare in documentary cinema since it’s hard to record – and yet it’s recorded here – interior monologue; it’s a clever device with extraordinary dramatic force, and it adds a great deal to our comprehension of the film and Gérard’s inner self…
This is a true story. It’s pretty uncommon to leave a film wondering what became of the protagonist. And it feels good to love a character!
Tënk's Editorial and programming Director
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