France | 2023 | 16 min
Language : French
Subtitle : English
Paris, 2019. Notre-Dame is burning down under the eyes of a stunned crowd. Using images filmed on the spot, Alice Brygo reconstructs the scene through photogrammetry and sound work, highlighting the behaviour of the crowd. A disconcerting immersive experience that lays bare the social tensions and apocalyptic scope of the event.
On 15 April 2019, the eyes of the world were glued on Paris as Notre Dame Cathedral burned under the gaze of stunned crowds with their mobile phones. Rather than focusing on the flames and their devastation, Le Mal des ardents shows what was happening off-camera. The film hones in on the onlookers as they witness one of France’s iconic symbols go up in flames. Using images captured at the time, director Alice Brygo uses a sophisticated photogrammetric technique to recreate the scene in three dimensions. By freezing the bodies of this spontaneous gathering in 3D, she gives the impression of a world in suspension. She deploys voices, comments and affects to reconstruct the behaviour of the crowd. The crowd itself also appears as if on fire, caught up in the turmoil of a seemingly apocalyptic event between the real and virtual worlds. Le Mal des ardents is an unsettling, intelligently directed immersive experience testifying to the social tensions that run through the country.