Life, a long way away

A film by Marc Weymuller

2011 - DV

Documentary - 81mn

Production : Le Tempestaire

Bourse  Brouillon d'un Rêve de la SCAM 2007

Barroso is an isolated region of Portugal where people live at the rhythm of the herds and the seasons. There, one can witness an ancestral way of life which will probably not last. Everyone knows it is the end of it soon and secretely draws the meshes of sparse memories. The memory resists, the setting serves as a mirror. In reminding us what we used to be, it also reflects what have become.

Trailer

Best full length in LES ECRANS DOCUMENTAIRES 2011 - France

Silver Gentian - Best Technical-Artistic Contribution - TRENTO Film Festival 2012 - Italy

Prize for the Best Image - Cronograf IDFF 2012 - Moldova

Finalist  - EXTREMA’DOC Cáceres Film Festival 2012 - Spain

"The clouds hang low between the mountains, absorbing all colours. It often rains. Life seems timeless in Barroso, a remote region in Portugal where the priest’s faith is pantheistic and every village has seven witches. At least that’s what people say. The life of its few inhabitants is shaped by the seasons and the rhythm of the animals driven to pasture every morning. In carefully composed frames “Life, a Long Way away” evokes our ancestors’ rural world, a world long lost in reality. But Barroso is not the right place to blame the present for the loss of the good old days. In this exceptional film, Barroso serves as a magic mirror that shows us the past to ask what has become of us. The director links the biographies of two inhabitants whose lives are drawing to a close with the slow drift into irrelevance of a region. The priest and the poet, the settler and the wanderer, both have their ailments. They talk to us about a life that was lived and time that is irrevocably used up, about waiting without expectations and strange dreams. A slow and deeply melancholic farewell. It’s true: life is change and death".

 

Matthias Heeder - DOK Leipzig

 

"Pause for a moment. Hold your breath. Open your eyes wide. A gem of modern documentary filmmaking lies in front of you. Invisible threads connect people’s inner worlds and mystic landscapes into a philosophical essay, characterized by sophisticated auteurist approach and spellbinding cinematography. Fascinated by the timelessness of scenes and people on the documentary photographs from the remote yet alluring Portuguese region of Barroso, the French documentary filmmaker Marc Weymulle was further intrigued when he discovered landscapes that these photographs left out like a carefully hidden secret. The book where he found these images has a paradoxical title “Negrões - White Memory”. That is the point at which he starts this surprisingly metaphysical journey through the intertwined layers of time. These layers are impressed upon the hazy and mystical landscapes, cobbled streets, dark interiors, and faces that are sculpted by their destinies; it is a journey into the deeply buried thoughts and memories. The life there is shaped by the alternation of rain, snow, blossoming and ripening, and by the rhythm of the herds that leave in the morning and return at dusk. “Barroso is a remarkable region: with respect to its history and the questions it raises; questions that are simple yet essential,” noted Marc Weymuller. “The landscapes serve as a mirror. In reminding us of what we used to be, they warn us about what we have become.” A film that truly pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking. Extraordinary visual imagery is complemented by a complex composition offering profound insights into what is hidden and contemplative".
 

Svetlana and Zoran Popovic - "The Magnificent Seven"
European Feature Documentary Festival (Belgrade, Serbia)


 

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