Ascent to the Sky
France, 52 min
A man under an umbrella, crouched on a trunk of wood. His body is a suture between the opposing slopes of the mountains. He is watching a flock, somewhere in a hem of Nepal that no tourist would take the risk of visiting. Here appears a terraced village, banal, soaked with rain, and humanity struggling in the mud. We guess the harassment of the bodies, the overcrowding, the disputes between neighbours, among other things about the possibility for one of them to shit in a hole, and not on a shared path, or about how the land is divided up. A primitive co-habitation, yet from which “public thing” is not absent, as you have to start somewhere. Breton is very careful not to ever judge what he is filming. Their miserable life is like two peas in a pod compared with our own lives, despite their apparent sophistication. But we certainly feel the appeal of the mountains in this Montée au ciel. The happy solitude of the “good shepherd”— who stands straight on the slope and knows the sensuality of the nomad life, like its humble grandeur — is dialectized into the mire of the herd mentality.