Eléonor Gilbert
France | 2018 | 54 min
World premiere
Language : French
Subtitle : English

A pine forest, an ancestral fear and obscure memories of a folktale that is childish only in name; that of Bluebeard, who murdered his wives. So begins Hôtel Echo, announcing other stories, far removed from fairy tales, which emerge from memory due to an attentive gaze. The observation point? A watchtower perched on a mount in Ardèche from where two women keep an eye out for the beginnings of fires. A few maps, binoculars, a protractor, their tools are very simple, like the device implemented by Eléonor Gilbert, who explores the idea of a possible inner lookout. With the gaze thus sharpened, the narrator-lookout recalls forgotten stories, repressed stories, stories of violence that we call domestic, whose signs are so difficult to draw out. Could we find a perfect observation point to spot them? Or a kit of simple tools and a shared vocabulary to talk about them? She offers an attempt that is more necessary than ever, an exercise in sharpening our gaze, which puts the audience themselves into the position of the lookouts.

Céline Guénot

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International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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