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Quelque chose de grand

filmmaker : Fanny Tondre
Composer : Charlie Nguyen Kim
France, 2016
Production : What's Up Films



This film tells the story of a colossal construction site where thousands of workers have joined forces to bring a huge architectural work to life. In the same way a gigantic theatre production is pieced together, every person has a very specific part to play. And despite the fatigue and bad weather, despite the dangers, setbacks and accidents, they are all driven by the same shared goal.

Tënk's film review

It’s a huge construction site, brutal and noisy, about which we, as passers-by, know nothing. The film delves into its exploration, right into the heart of the action. This is not a film about working conditions, chains of command or even the overabundance of the “big things” constantly being built. It seeks out the beauty… We know there can be beauty in concrete, although we don’t seek it out in the concrete itself, but instead in the people that work with it. Fanny Tondre looks deep into the characters to go beyond the façade and render them moving. Some of them are gentle types, some of them are rough and ready – all are engaged in a trade with a passion that seems to stem from the group, the collective experience, a kind of community of men. And it’s always a victory, somehow, to see two big, tough guys hugging each other with tears in their eyes.

Jérémie Jorrand
Tënk's Editorial and programming Director

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Fanny Tondre

After studying History of Art and Architecture and writing a thesis on photography in Le Courbusier’s work, Fanny Tondre began to broadcast her reports with the Editing agency in 2001. In 2004, she was employed by the REA agency as a photographer, working on social and political current affairs. In 2008, she went freelance, taking a step back from tackling current affairs and committing to longer-term projects about society. In 2013, her focus shifted to writing and directing, and driven by the desire to describe personal journeys linked to today’s world, she made “Monsieur et Madame Zhang”. “Quelque chose de grand” is her second film.

Other films in the collection: Highlights