A Few Days Together
“He saw straightway that I wasn’t from here, and that amused him, like the proof that another world existed.” Vladimir Vladimirovitch, “Volodia”, former Red Army tank crew member, is Stéphane Breton’s berth neighbour during this long journey in the third-class carriage of a train slowly making its way through the Russian winter. The filmmaker’s alter-ego, he collects, debonair, the bits and pieces that we tell each other in such circumstances, to make a connection, to cheat the boredom and dullness that set in with the rolling of the train. Quelques jours ensemble is an intimate, rail-based huis-clos that becomes attached to all forms of exchange and movement. With as a shared base, table-companionship, the sharing of food and drink, of cigarettes, that bring confidences, ordinary and extraordinary stories. Violence lingers, the conflicts of yesterday and today find a voice, the men let go and confide part of their solitude to the familiar watchman, as if to relieve themselves of the fundamental pain of existence, regardless of the price to pay.