The poetic and mystical Les Tourmentes takes place in the south of France, on the blustery highlands of the Cévennes near Mont Lozère. It’s the most sparsely populated region in all of France: winters last for six months, and dangerous snow storms rampage constantly and instil melancholy in people.
DocPoint screened the director’s previous work Lost Land (Pays perdu) in 2012. The film depicts the cruelness of a forgotten desert war in Western Sahara with stunning black-and-white images. Vandeweerd has found a new kind of desert in the county of Lozère where ancient standing stones, or menhirs, tower. Through the ages, many a shepherd has lost her way there, wandering round and round in the blinding snowstorms. Several clock towers have been built to guide the lost. Shepherds call the names of the forgotten and lost while roaming the pastures.
The inhabitants of the local psychiatric ward, beaten down by winter melancholy, also used to be called lost. They wander the “loony pen”, the hospital’s graveyard. Many of them were crucial sources for the director.
Born in the crossroads of fact and fiction, the documentary weaves an impressive sonic tapestry – the clanking of sheep bells blends into the wind whistling and shepherds chanting age-old spells. “May rocks, stars and animals be your sole guides…”
Text: Elizabeth Marschan / Translation: Tapio Reinekoski
Language: French, Occitan
- Director: Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd
- Country: French
- Year: 2014
- Length: 77 min
- Age limit: S
- Format: DCP
- Cinematography: Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd
- Editing: Philippe Boucq
- Audio: Jean-Luc Fichefet
- Music: Richard Skelton
- Production: Michel David / Zeugma Films, Cobra Films
- Kinopalatsi 6: Thursday 29.1. at 15:00