Switzerland, Canada | 2023 | 166 min
Language : English
Subtitle : French
First, there is the Appenzell countryside, and the melting snow that makes the streams overflow. Then the death of his mother, and the need to spend time with his father. On top of that, a global pandemic. Peter Mettler is a rare gem of a filmmaker. Here he (re)constructs the filmed diary of his intimate relationship with the world and the beings that inhabit it, in this work of documentary goldsmithery.
“The grass is always greener on the other side.” This well-known expression constitutes the inspiration for a plurality of movements. The cyclical movement of a torrent in Appenzell, Switzerland, whose waters swell when the snow begins to melt; the movement that drove Julie and Freddy, Peter Mettler's parents, to leave their native Switzerland for Ontario; or that of a free-form film. "How will you prepare if you haven’t planned anything?" exclaims Mara, a neighbour. "By adapting," comes Mettler’s simple reply, whose unique style of filmmaking – to which Visions du Réel devoted a masterclass in 2020 – comes as much from the visual music inspired by his animist sensitivity, as from the quality of the time he spends with the people he encounters “along the water” - the latter inspiring the formal structure of the filmmaker’s new project. While the Green Grass Grows will be an extraordinary 12-hour long film, divided into seven parts, begun in 2019. In the form of an audiovisual diary, it takes us through the events of recent years, marked by the global pandemic but especially the deaths of the filmmaker's mother, then father, which provide the fuel for these two chapters screened together. A work of maturity, and probably the director’s most intimate film to date, which interrogates our universal human destiny with grace and generosity.