China, France, 35 min
Weijia Ma was working on an animation film in Strasbourg when COVID descends on France. She very quickly fled to Lyon before returning to Shanghai. From the flight to her quarantine in a hotel on arrival, this filmed diary with its airs of romantic comedy uses humour and great formal invention to retrace the experience of this journey.
Weijia Ma was working on an animated film in Strasbourg, when Covid swept through France. As the city quickly became home to a significant outbreak of the virus, she fled to Lyon before hastily returning to Shanghai. From the flight, which seems to take her towards the moon, to her two-week quarantine in a hotel on arrival, the filmed diary—which has echoes of a romantic comedy at times—uses humour and great formal inventiveness to convey the experience of this journey. Begun spontaneously in the astonishment of the first days, partially shot on a mobile phone, then arranged and gradually edited during the isolation period, My Quarantine Bear mixes staging, the measures of confined daily life, and animation or specific pieces of films, songs, and life. In contrast with the lockdown, its routine and solitude, but also with the cinematographic objects it seems to give rise to, this film is alive with light, skilful and joyful writing.